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BOOK EXCERPT FROM SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE KING: A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 2, by Lorilyn Roberts

ISBN Number 978-0996532235

2014 Literary Classics Book Awards Winner for faith-based YA fiction
Finalist in the 2014 USA Book Awards for religious fiction
Winner in 9th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards for spirituality
Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards.
Silver winner in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards for YA
Finalist (fifth) in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award for YA fiction

 

After a series of devastating events, Daniel Sperling, a gifted seventeen-year-old Israeli boy, becomes the focus of a wager between good and evil. Marked by one, he travels to first-century Israel and meets a doctor who becomes his mentor.
 
When he unwittingly makes a pact with the devil and the girl he loves is betrothed to another, his life takes a different course, until his eyes are opened. 
 
Trapped in the seventh dimension, how far will God go to save him?

 

 


EXCERPT FROM 

CHAPTER ONE 

DEATH

 

“Please, God, don’t let him die!” I cried.

General Goren’s face turned blue as the medic and nurse rushed into the room.

The nurse barked orders. “Start chest compressions. One, two, three, four—” seconds passed.

“No pulse,” the medic said.

After applying gel, the nurse placed the defibrillator pads on his bare chest.

“All clear,” she yelled.

We stepped back and waited.

The heart monitor remained flat.

“Again,” the medic said.

On the second attempt, General Goren’s eyes fluttered open.

A faint hope stirred in the room.

The death cat stood in the doorway. The nursing home mascot had never been wrong—maybe just this once. I wanted to yell at the cat to go away.

“Daniel,” a voice said faintly.

I leaned over and squeezed the General’s hand. “Yes, I am here.”

His eyes met mine. I drew nearer, avoiding the wires leading to the equipment. His breathing was labored. I was thankful the nurse and medic didn’t insist I leave.

“There is something I need to tell you,” he said faintly.

I shook my head. “No, save your energy. You don’t need to tell me now.”

“I must,” he pleaded. “You must know.”

I glanced at the medic and nurse. He was in no condition to talk. “Know—what?”

He squeezed my hand reassuringly. “You saved my life at Synagogue Hall.”

“What?” The man must be hallucinating.

The General continued. “May 1948—hospital in Jewish Quarter.”

“No. It was someone else. I’m Daniel Sperling, son of Aviv, a volunteer at the Beth Hillel Nursing Home. I’m seventeen years old.” 

“Let him talk,” said the medic. He lowered his voice, “In case he dies.”

“Don’t say that,” I whispered.

The cat stood in the doorway—watching.

General Goren pulled me closer. “No, Son. It was you. They carried me in on a stretcher. I had a collapsed lung. The Arabs had burned everything but the hospital. The flames—cries of children—horrible. Mothers and fathers—all gone. The children—” he stopped, unable to continue.

I reassured him. “You did the best you could. Everyone did.”

General Goren flinched. “Dr. Laufer and Dr. Riss had a flashlight. Nurse Tzviah tried—” his voice cracked again. “I told them not to waste any more time on me, to help the others.”

I’d never heard this story. The war hero rarely talked about those weeks in Jerusalem. Despite his success many years later, he apparently never forgot that night.

“The reinforcements didn’t arrive in time. We held out as long as we could.”

“Forgive yourself.”

Tears welled up and he coughed. His eyes stared and the medic shocked him again.

“We have a heartbeat, a faint one,” the nurse said.

Should I leave so he could save his strength or stay and let him finish?

General Goren said, “I must tell you this before I’m gone.”

“I’m listening.”

The room became quiet. The only sound was his weak, raspy voice.

“You had a scar on your forehead. You walked over and touched me. The pain left. I cried out to the nurse—I wanted to know who you were—but you were gone.”

My hero had mistaken me for someone else.

“Thank you for saving my life,” the General said. “I didn’t tell you before because I didn’t think you would believe me.”

I squeezed his hand.

“God has great plans for you. You’re an angel.” The old man stopped breathing.

“He’s gone,” said the medic.

We checked the monitor. The war hero who had survived so many battles was no longer with us.

I ran out the door, tripping over the cat. I stopped and turned to face the poor creature. “Sorry,” I muttered.

His gray eyes stared into space, but the cat’s purrs reached my ears.

I reached down and picked him up. Stroking his head gently, I leaned over and kissed him. Couldn’t the blind animal have been wrong just this once?

 

 

 

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BOOK EXCERPT: “Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul,” by Lorilyn Roberts

Book Excerpt

On my way to work one morning, a long line of cars was backed up on Greene Street. Brown Court Reporting, Inc., was several blocks farther. Bored, people had turned off their engines and were waiting.

I exited my car and walked up the street. “What’s going on?” I asked some people hanging around.

A man said casually, “Apparently, a dog got hit by a car.”

My heart welled up as I wondered how badly the dog was hurt, who he belonged to, and if he would be okay, but the man didn’t know anything more.

I waited a few more minutes. When it didn’t look as though things would clear out anytime soon, I turned around and went a different way to work.

Throughout the morning, however, I thought about the little dog hit by a car. I wanted to know more. I left the office and started checking with some of the businesses on Greene Street. Did anybody know what happened? “Somebody transported the dog to a local veterinarian,” someone said. I scoured around. I found the vet and called to inquire.

“No,” the lady said on the other end. “We haven’t located the owner, but she needs immediate medical attention. Her leg is severely injured and requires amputation.”

“How much is that?” I asked.

“About $200,” the woman replied.

That was a lot of money back in those days, but now that I had involved myself this much, how could I not help?

I told her. “I’ll pay the $200 if she’ll live.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. “It’s not your dog.”

I was sure. My only worry was how I would explain everything to my ex-husband. He wouldn’t want another dog. I wasn’t even sure if she and Shelley would get along. Shelley had never had to share us.

“When can I come by and meet her?” I asked.

“Why don’t you wait till later this afternoon after the surgery.”

I spent the rest of the day concocting a story to tell my ex-husband—that I had rescued a dog from certain death, the dog was an amputee, and I’d paid $200 for surgery on a dog I’d never seen.

Finally, the veterinarian’s office called and said the surgery was successful. I could come to see her, but they wanted her to remain overnight until she was well enough for me to take her home.

“Have you heard from anybody claiming to be her owner?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “We don’t know who she belongs to.”

Later that afternoon, I dropped by the animal hospital. They were glad to meet me. I gave them the check for $200 and thanked them.

“Do you want to see her?” the tech asked. “She’s in recovery.”

“That would be great,” I said.

 

 

They took me to an adjoining room, and I poked my head in the door. In front of me was a scrawny-looking, tan-and-white Terrier. She had large, floppy ears, and strands of hair covered her closed eyelids. Fifi aptly described her—a hurt, orphaned dog in need of a forever home. She lay curled up in a little ball with one huge bandage where her right hind leg used to be.

I left the vet’s office with mixed emotions. I was glad I saved her life and could give her a home, but how would I explain it to my ex-husband?

“You did what?” he asked when I was halfway through my prepared speech.

I justified everything, saying we would find a home for Fifi, and I didn’t plan on keeping her. Of course, he knew me better than that. By the time we went to bed that night, he had given a half-hearted yes to the new addition to the family, provided Fifi and Shelley got along. I was more than willing to make sure of that.

Two days passed. We brought Fifi home and slowly introduced her to Shelley. At night, we crated her. Fifi was still wearing a wrap where her leg used to be and still getting used to having only three legs. After a few days, we settled into a routine. I was encouraged that things were working out. Even my ex-husband quit complaining about the extra work.

A couple of nights later, the veterinarian’s office called me. “We wanted to ask you a personal question.”

I wasn’t sure where this was going. “Sure.”

“We wanted to know how things were working out with Fifi.”

“They are working out fine,” I said. “Fifi is getting along well with Shelley. Why do you ask?

Did you find the owner?” I didn’t want to know.

“Oh, no,” she said. “It’s just that we had a client in today with his sick dog that passed away. We couldn’t do anything for him. In a strange coincidence, Fifi looked like his dog. The old man is heartbroken,” she went on, “and we thought if things hadn’t worked out, maybe you would be willing to let him adopt Fifi.”

“We could meet and see what happens.” After I hung up the phone, I wondered if she had told the man that Fifi only had three legs. Not everybody would want a three-legged animal.

He called me the next day, and I promised to come home early to meet him. By this time, I wasn’t sure I could let Fifi go. She had become a part of our family.

I arrived home, and a short while later, a car pulled up in the driveway. I walked outside to greet the man. As he exited the car, I noticed something odd that caused me to do a double-take. He had a cane. He put the walking stick out to steady himself and then dragged his bad leg behind him. The man was disabled.

Then I realized, I was only the keeper of Fifi until her new master picked her up—someone who could understand what it was like to have three legs. As the older man and Fifi left, God reassured me that her new home would be perfect. I learned later the vet donated the $200 I paid to help another dog in the future.

After four years of living in the Augusta hellhole that golfers think is heaven, I wanted to get on with life. That day couldn’t come soon enough, and we moved to Gainesville, Florida. It didn’t take twenty-four hours for me to think I’d died and gone to heaven. Of course, after four years in Augusta, any place would have seemed like heaven.

📘📘📘📘📘 

Tails and Purrs for the Heart and Soul is available now on Amazon 

 

 

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BOOK EXCERPT: “Seventh Dimension – The Prescience: A Young Adult Fantasy,” Shavuot and Coronavirus – Will God Heal Our Land Fifty Days After Passover

 

 

 

We were all locked up in our houses for Passover, in Israel, the United States, and around the world. This is the first time since the original Passover, when Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt, that Passover has been a Festival when both Israelis and Christians have been hidden inside our homes.

 
I truly believe at Pentecost, or Shavuot, we will see something amazing happen. Will God heal our land? Will He send Covid-19 into oblivion?  
 
As a Christian, I’m praying for God to do a miracle, one that the critics will not be able to refute, one that even the naysayers will be forced to admit can only be from God.
 
Even if nothing happens, we have made a difference simply by praying. We have been obedient by acknowledging God’s power and purpose in all of this. God allowed the coronavirus to infect our planet. In a twist of fate, the globalists got what they wanted – globalism in a pandemic.
 
But God takes the works of evil and uses it to glorify Him in a way that is profound and shocking. I know my Redeemer lives, and I know He is returning, perhaps sooner than many think. I’m excited to see the signs spoken of in the Bible harkening His soon return.
 
Below is an excerpt from Seventh Dimension – The Prescience, the fifth book in the Seventh Dimension Series, where Shale and Daniel, time travelers, experience the first Shavuot fifty days after Passover when Yeshua died on the cross for the salvation of all. 
 
The Jews rejected their Messiah. If only the Jews could recognize Yeshua’s death on the cross as The Holocaust, but God will open their eyes at the appointed time. Until then, Christians must occupy, sharing the Gospel, revealing God’s love, and acting as God’s ambassadors all over the world. Time is short. Expect miracles. Pray for the salvation of many.
 
 
 
 
 

☩☩☩☩☩☩☩☩☩☩☩☩

CHAPTER 26

THE CROWDED STREETS of the Upper City soon grabbed my attention as every blade of green grass and stone walkway was occupied.
 
Near the Temple Mount, a long procession of worshippers filled the courtyard. Hundreds of oxen decorated in flowery garlands were loaded down with fruits and grains. Children carried small baskets of figs and dates.
 
“This reminds me of an American parade,” I said.
 
Daniel waved his hand. “This is the festival of Shavuot, more commonly known to Christians as Pentecost.” As we neared the Temple entrance, the breathtaking view overwhelmed me. Thousands of visitors could fit inside the courtyard, not counting the animals. The crowd extended past the city 
gates and up the hills overlooking Jerusalem.
 
Daniel headed to the Temple entrance.
 
“Is it always like this?” I asked.
 
Daniel squeezed my hand. “Jewish travelers come from everywhere. It’s one of the three Jewish pilgrimages.”
 
How could Daniel share anything as significant as Jesus with Nidal here? Wouldn’t a quiet place be better? He spoke to Nidal, and I started to ask him to repeat it when the shofar blasted. Singing followed, and the praises of worshippers filled my ears. I caught some of the Hebrew words.
 
“He brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.”
 
“Let’s make our offering first, and then we’ll go to Solomon’s Porch,” Daniel said.
 
We waited our turn amongst hundreds of others. The air was cool despite the bright morning sun, and there was plenty of activity around us to fill the boredom of standing in line.
 
After waiting close to an hour, we made our offering. I’d never seen anything like this in America except at sporting events. Seeing humanity pressed in on all sides to worship was unprecedented. Getting students to attend our prayer meetings and Bible study at school paled in comparison.
 
Gradually at first, the wind began to stir. Soon it became stronger, but I was distracted by a woman’s voice. “Daniel!”
 
The voice was familiar. Seconds later, I recognized the young girl. Lilly waved her hand as she pressed toward us. I remembered Daniel praying with her in the synagogue over her father. Was she from this time or our future?
 
Daniel greeted her warmly. “Lilly, this is my betrothed, Shale.”
 
Lilly took my arm and nudged me as she shouted to Daniel. “Follow me. Peter and the disciples are at Solomon’s Porch. They have been here all morning praying.”
 
We picked our way through the masses as the wind increased. My anticipation mounted. However, it wasn’t a wild wind that blew. It went where it wanted.
 
“Daniel!” The wind circled over the Temple, descending as a whirlwind. I saw heaven open, and a voice that sounded like thunderous waters proclaimed, “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
 
The disciples stood in a semicircle facing the crowd as hundreds gathered around. The Zephyr descended zigzagging through the Temple columns, and tongues of fire alighted upon the disciples and their followers.
 
Almost immediately, fire transformed them. Words of praise left their lips as hope danced on their faces. A supernatural peace settled over the Temple, and the disciples and others began to speak in tongues.
 
I heard English. How could that be? I lifted my eyes to heaven and raised my hands in celebration. Quite unexpectedly, I saw the risen Christ bathed in white light sitting on his throne.
 
Peter shouted for all to hear. “This Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God, and we receive the Holy Spirit, that which you now see and hear.”
 
Several exclaimed, “I’m hearing you in my own tongue. How can that be?”
 
The people waved and stared as signs and wonders filled the Temple. Nidal shouted, “I’m hearing the words of Muhammad in Nepali. I’ve never heard Muhammad speak.”
 
I clasped Daniel’s arm, concerned that Nidal thought he was hearing Muhammad and not Jesus, but 
 
Daniel reassured me. “Let God speak.”
 
People were talking at once. I caught bits and pieces of several conversations.
 
“I’m hearing Peter in Arabic,” a foreigner exclaimed.
 
“I’m hearing him in Greek,” another shouted.
 
“Peter can’t speak Greek,” a woman interrupted. “He’s a fisherman from Galilee.”
 
“He’s speaking Aramaic,” another man said.
 
“Then why am I hearing him in Parthian?” a visitor asked. “I thought worship in the Temple was only in Hebrew.”
 
The crowd swelled around Solomon’s Porch as the winds of fire soared over the heads of eyewitnesses. The tongues alighted on some of the listeners, and they spoke in other languages. The multitude questioned each other. “Are these not Galileans? How is it that we’re hearing them in our own tongue?”
 
A few standing nearby mocked the disciples. “They are full of new wine.”
 
Fear crossed the faces of the Roman guards as they stared into the heavens. Nothing in their plethora of Roman gods could explain this event. Did they consider this was related to the death of Jesus whom they’d crucified seven weeks earlier?
 
I felt the electricity in the air—a supernatural kind that settled over the Temple environs. We were witnessing the fulfillment of the fourth of God’s seven festivals. The next festival to be fulfilled would be the Feast of Trumpets—and my thoughts ran amok contemplating that future event.
 
The murmurs increased, and I feared a riot might erupt. Then Peter stood on a table and addressed the onlookers. “Men of Judea and those who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and heed my words.
 
“For these men and women are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘It shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.’”
 
Peter raised his hands and quoted from God’s book. “‘And on my menservants and on my maidservants, I will pour out my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
 
I remembered my dream. The sun turning dark could be a solar eclipse, but what could a red moon mean except something in the atmosphere turning it red—like fire?
 
Peter explained what happened. “Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, seven weeks ago, was put to death by crucifixion. On the third day, he rose from the dead. Even now in heaven, Christ sits on the throne.”
 
Peter said Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until he sent the gift of the Holy Spirit. Those present saw that outpouring. He quoted again from the Scriptures. “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.’”
 
Thousands on the Temple Mount heard Peter’s sermon, and many threw up their hands in contrite prayers of repentance. When the people realized the truth of Peter’s words, many hearts trembled with fear. Some asked, “What must we do?”
 
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
 
Thousands came forward.
 
The mikvahs, large baths for ceremonial washing, were set up along the southern walls of the Temple Mount at the base of the double-gate stairs. Lines began to form. I’d never seen a turning to God by so many at one time. I leaned into Daniel. “This is the beginning of the church age.”
 
Daniel smiled. “I know.”
 
I glanced at Nidal who appeared stunned. Daniel draped his arm around his shoulder and spoke in his ear. I turned my attention to the Temple entrance. Some people were dispersing, unmoved by what they saw.
 
I shook my head in disbelief that anyone could walk away from God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. What else could God have done to show his perfect love to a perverse generation that missed his visitation? I remembered the words of Jesus, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
 
After several minutes of intense discussion, Daniel relayed to me what Nidal said.
 
“Nidal wants to talk to me, and I can’t hear him here. Let’s go to another part of the Temple away from the noise.”
 
“Do you think he’ll tell you about your father?”
 
Daniel rubbed the nape of his neck. “If I don’t press too hard. He is quite shaken by what we’ve witnessed.”


Daniel led the way. I prayed as we walked that God would work a miracle. Since women weren’t allowed in the inner sanctum of the Temple, we stayed in the outer court. Daniel found a small portico, and we sat on some benches inside the columns that buttressed the wall.



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BOOK EXCERPT FROM SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE CITY: A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 4

 

“…and the hated Jews that remain aren’t worth our time. We will move west and south into Israel. Our generals will share reports from the field. We begin with a report from our angel of death.”
 
The fallen angel raised his wings and shouted. “Oh, my dear angels and demons, good news I bring to you. My human has been very cooperative and listened to my suggestions. He is convinced he can win and defeat the enemy.
 

“Our agenda to stir up strife in Europe has achieved better-than-expected results. The immigration crisis is increasing conflicts among nations. 


Divisions will lead to decreasing tolerance, enabling us to inflict pain and suffering on more and more of God’s stupid sheep.”›

The underlings applauded.
 
“However, reports from behind enemy lines show the prayers of Christians are stopping our advances in the United States and Israel. We must silence the enemy. When saints pray, we lose ground. If you don’t want to burn in the lake of fire, we must defeat those prayer warriors now.”
 
Discordant voices united in a dirge of hate-filled propaganda.
 
We will crush the king of kings and lord of lords,
With cruel hate, conniving deceit, and slashing swords.
The king on high can never win,
Against our occult power of sin.
Persecution, suffering, death, and war.
We will bruise our enemy more and more.
Lucifer, our bright morning star,
The object of our worship near and far.
Praise to our ruler who will once again rise
To defeat the man in white, our enemy, our prize.
 
Once the dissonance subsided, another fallen angel stepped up to the podium.
 
Without notice, something happened. Doubt crept into my thoughts. Suppose Lucifer won? Suppose my small, insignificant prayers weren’t enough? How much difference could I make against the powers of Sheol?
 
My eyes read the words in the scriptures, but I couldn’t concentrate. My confidence in God faltered. Hopelessness started to affect my thinking. Depression threatened to usurp my trust. Just as my confidence in God wilted, Daniel leaned over and whispered. “Remember, Satan is a trickster. God keeps him on a tight rope, so don’t despair.”
 
Daniel must have been reading my mind.
 
Lucifer announced, “The committee on eugenics has an exciting report to share with you.” A hologram danced across the cave ceiling and disappeared into the river.
Large locusts swarmed in the darkness of the cave. Their luminescence glowed in a brilliant display of power. They appeared like horses, ready for battle.
 
They wore golden crowns on their heads, and mutilated faces accented their deformed, hideous appearance. Women’s hair, long and stringy, covered their backs, and razor-edged teeth like a lion’s protruded from their mouths.
 
They wore iron breastplates, and the sounds of horses and chariots reverberated in their wings. The battle cry sounded, and the hologram showed them terrorizing the earth. Their presence was so horrifying that the underlings screeched. I leaned on Daniel’s shoulder.
 
The powerful creature spoke over the clamor. “In their scorpion-like tail, they can inflict pain on humans for five months. They are waiting for the call—when the end of days begins.”
The hologram disappeared, but the sight of such creatures made me panic. I couldn’t get my breath. Daniel reached over reassuringly. Who could survive the coming calamity?
 
“That is not all we have to show you,” the fallen angel announced. “Behold our horses and cavalry soldiers—two hundred million in all.”
 
Another hologram appeared, and a different kind of supernatural creature filled the recesses of the cave. Even more horrifying than the locusts, the riders wore fire-red, iris-blue, and sulfur yellow breastplates. From their mouths spewed fire, smoke, and sulfur. 

The demon spoke boastfully. “The plagues from their mouths will destroy one-third of mankind, and their tails will inflict serious injury.”

The vile creatures wielded an occult superpower beyond anything imaginable. Weakness of heart overwhelmed me. I languished in pain, imagining the suffering of the afflicted. I clung to my Bible and wept.

 

 

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
 
As I look at what is happening in the Middle East, I know war is coming, I know God is in control, and I know the Lord’s return is near. 
 
Books four through six in the Seventh Dimension Series deal with end-time events, including the rise of Islam, the occult, and the fulfillment of prophecy. 
 
Jesus said, in Matthew 24:6: “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”
 
You can read the entire Seventh Dimension Series for free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited or purchase the six-book series for $9.99 by clicking on this link.
 
 
 

To read more of Lorilyn Roberts’ blog posts, go to LorilynRoberts.com

 
 
 
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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE HOWLING: A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 6

 

Chapter 1

 
My horses, Mosi and Oni, took the lead. I could taste victory—sweet victory. They could run like gazelles when I let them. Just one more lap. I heard the roaring crowd chanting my name.
 
“Run!” I shouted. We passed Tariq, and a scowl covered his brow. He slapped the reins at me in a last-ditch attempt to yank me off the chariot, but I was a seasoned racer now. No chance of that happening.
 
We rounded the first turn, and I kept my distance. I didn’t want any more trickery or sleight of hand—like Tariq sawing off my wheel. The other racers had been knocked out or given up. Only Tariq was left, but dropping farther behind. The finish line called my name.
 
Less than a minute later, I threw up my hands triumphantly. I flicked the reins to slow the horses, and the people drummed their feet in the stands. Celebratory flowers littered the Hippodrome as the fickleness of the spectators never ceased to amaze me. The Romans believed I was a criminal and a Jewish one at that. Now that I was the winner—making risky gamblers wealthy—the crowd was on my side. Besides, everybody loved an underdog.
 
I relaxed for a moment in all the accolades. The Roman authorities wouldn’t dare arrest me. The last thing Pontius Pilate wanted was a riot on his hands and be called back to Rome.
 
Now was my turn for sweet revenge. What had Tariq done to my father? And that time traveler who terrified Shale at the inn, Tariq must know who sent him.
 
I searched for my betrothed and Shira behind Pontius Pilate and his entourage, but I couldn’t find them. Out of nowhere, I saw Much-Afraid scurrying across the racetrack. What was Shale’s dog doing here? Horses and chariots were everywhere. Fear that she might get trampled made me panic.
 
As I was scheming how to help her, a mysterious cloud settled over the racetrack. Amid the fanfare, I heard someone whisper, “Daniel, the race isn’t over.”
 
Of course, the race was over. I looked around. Who said that, but I couldn’t see anyone in the fog.
 
The noise of squeaking wheels and cheering fans began to fade into the distance. When the haze lifted, I saw an open scroll, and Tariq and I were racing again—this time among the stars.
 
 

I am excited to be publishing the last book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The Howling. It has taken me six years to write the series, and what a journey it’s been. 

The full six-volume set is now available on Amazon at the low price of $9.99. Click here to learn more. It is also FREE in Kindle Unlimited for a limited time!

 
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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE CASTLE: A Young Adult Fantasy: “The Resurrection”

 
 
 
THE RESURRECTION
 
I sensed I was no longer in the garden. In front of me was a cave.

When I stood, I ached all over.

Somebody approached. I ran and hid.

A Roman official accompanied by two men in chains became visible. Another guard brought up the rear. The four men stopped at the entrance to the cave.

One of the prisoners said, “We rolled this huge boulder up to the entrance. It must weigh four thousand pounds. And we sealed it to make sure no one moved it—even if they were strong enough.”

The official picked up a rock and slammed it on the ground. “Yet it was moved. How did the rabble-rouser escape? A dead man doesn’t climb out of a grave.”

“A thief stole the body,” one of the men said.

“Did you fall asleep?” the official asked.

“No, we did not fall asleep. We took turns sleeping. Someone was always awake.”

The official glared at them. “How could someone have stolen the body if you didn’t fall asleep?”

They exchanged glances. “We don’t know.”

“We must make up a story,” the official said. “We’ll tell Pilate Yeshua’s disciples stole his body. We’ll give you money to keep quiet, and you can pray you aren’t executed for leaving your post.”

One of the soldiers insisted, “He was gone when we left. We didn’t leave our post.”

“You ran away,” the official insisted, “like cowards.”

Silence followed.

One of the men remarked, “See how the boulder is rolled away. Up a slope, not back from the entrance but away from the entire sepulcher. It would have taken several men to move it that distance. How could no one have heard anything? Other guards were nearby.”

The official smirked. “So the rock moved on its own. Yeshua’s disciples slipped in and stole his body, even though you were awake and saw no one?”
“We didn’t fall asleep. There must be another explanation.”

The official fumed. “You can give that other explanation to Pilate before your execution.”

The officials stomped off with their imprisoned former guards. After a couple of minutes, their voices faded in the distance.

The urgency to get Shale’s diary made me impatient to leave, but my body didn’t want to cooperate. I ached all over, including my head, but I was also anxious to examine the empty tomb. How fortunate I was to have stumbled upon it.

Before I moved, another person approached. I stayed hidden.

Soon I saw Mark riding on Truth.

I waved at him from behind the trees. “What are you doing here?”

He trotted over to me. “I found you at last.”

“What are you doing here?” I asked again.

“Well,” Mark stammered. “I wanted to follow you. I lost you when you galloped away, but I had a feeling you were going to the garden. I didn’t find you there, but I found your horse.”

Mark was too smart for his own good.

“After hearing what Mary of Magdala said, I wanted to visit the tomb. Alas, I find you here.”

“You seem to have a habit of secretly following people,” I remarked.
The boy dismounted. “Only people I care about. Besides, someone was about to steal your horse. I ran him off.”

I sighed. “Thank you. I didn’t think about that.”

I had an idea. “Mark, would you like to keep Truth for a while?”

“Truth?”

“The horse.”

“Sure,” Mark replied.

“I need to go to Galilee and return Baruch to his owner.”

“Who is Baruch?” Mark asked.

“The donkey. He’s near the garden entrance. And you can’t follow me to Galilee.”

Mark laughed. “I have no desire to follow you to Galilee. That’s a long way.”

I nodded.

Mark glanced at the tomb. “Did you check inside the sepulcher?”

I shook my head. “No. The Romans just left a minute ago. I haven’t had a chance.”

“Let’s go see.” Mark ran over and I followed.

All that remained was Yeshua’s grave clothes. The wrappings were in the position of a body, slightly caved in, and empty.

“It’s like he left his clothes behind,” Mark commented.

“You would know about that, wouldn’t you?” I responded.

Mark turned red in the face. “That’s not funny, you know.”

I ran my hand through my hair. “You’re right, Mark. I’m sorry.”

Mark shrugged.

I shook my head. That was poor comic relief. “I feel nervous being here. It’s too weird.”

“I know,” Mark said. “It’s creepy.”

I put my hand on his shoulder. “We need to leave before they discover something else.”

“Like what?”

“Don’t ask.” We lingered for a moment longer. Mark wasn’t ready.

“Mary must be right,” exclaimed Mark. “I had to see for myself.”

“Which way is it to the garden? I’m worried about Baruch.”

“How can you not remember?” Mark asked.

“I hit my head yesterday when I fell. It affected my memory.” That was partially true.

“Follow me,” the boy replied.

 

Garden of Gethsemane

We returned to the garden and found Baruch waiting in the back where Shale and I had left him.

“Do you want some apples?” Mark offered. “I found these.”

“Sure.”

He pulled out several and handed me one. He also gave some to Truth and Baruch. “Donkeys love apples, too.”

As I put the apple in my bag, distant voices filled the garden. How long would it be before they found Judas’s body and the dead guard?

“Mark, we need to leave. Promise me you will take Truth and go back to Bethany now?”

The boy nodded.

I helped him on the horse. “Thank you for taking care of Truth.”

“I’m glad to,” Mark replied.

I slapped the horse’s rear and watched as they cantered away. Once they disappeared, I mounted Baruch.

“Let’s go, hurry.”

The donkey barely moved. I’d forgotten how slow donkeys were. But at last, he did move—at a donkey’s pace. When we reached the main road to Galilee, his slow speed didn’t matter. Hundreds of weary travelers were also traveling home.

While I was grateful for the crowds to help hide me from the Romans, getting there quickly was another matter. We would need to stay overnight in Dothan as the trip to Galilee would take longer than I anticipated.


–>

 
 
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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE HOWLING: A Young Adult Fantasy, “Sneak Peek at an Underwater Scene”

 
 

Sometimes writing evokes deep emotions. I have been working on The Howling for close to a year, and I just wrote a scuba diving scene that takes place in the Red Sea. That was one of the places I dove many years ago, having made over a hundred dives all over the world.

When I began writing these chapters, memories resurfaced, nostalgic sentimentality, and surprisingly, gratefulness. Today was my birthday. I just turned sixty-three and am one year out following my year-long battle with breast cancer.

I see every day I’m here as a gift, and when I think back to my diving years, I am reminded how quickly time goes by and what’s really important when we get closer to the end of our journey. What a blessed life God has given me. 

With those thoughts as a backdrop, I decided to share a short excerpt I wrote tonight. Those who have read previous books in the series will wonder how this scene fits into the story–but I shall not spoil it. I hope The Howling will be the best book in the Seventh Dimension Series yet.

EXCERPT
I followed Maurice along the colorful shelf where clownfish darted in and out of sea anemones. From the shimmering schools of fish to the tiny, shy creatures lurking under overhanging crevasses, God spoke to me, even if that voice was only to evoke in me a longing for more.
 
How can we fathom the depths of God’s handiwork in the window of the deep? Can we know the inner workings of the tiny seahorse or understand the symbiosis between the known and the unknown?
 
 
 
My mind wondered as I videotaped the extraordinary beauty. I marveled how the masterful artist spoke this world into being before he created man.  Extravagant love blessed these waters and said it was good. Who could deny it came from a stroke of genius except for someone who didn’t want to believe in God? 
However, we hadn’t gone very far when our surroundings changed. The protective wall was a death trap. Heaped upon the sandy bottom were skeletons of decomposed fish. Did death have a voice?
 
I heard a muffled grating noise. Perhaps it had been there all along, just drowned out by our regulators and the normal rhythmic heartbeat of the sea. I shot the video in all directions to capture the disturbing changes.
 
The euphoria of being beneath the waters after such a long absence evaporated. The rainbow world of the deep had become a morbid cemetery. The vibrant colors of living coral were nothing more than whitewashed tombstones. Devoid of life, this part of the Red Sea was now a ghost town.
 
Maurice and I exchanged glances. Something had tarnished the ecosystem and brought death here.

The water became warmer as we glided along the shelf. Maurice wrote something on his slate and held it up—water temp?
 
I took his slate and wrote, “global warming?”

He shook his head, putting the slate back in his pocket. We followed the shelf until it leveled off and we came to a white sandy bottom. I checked the depth gauge—sixty-five feet.
 
 
 

 

Maurice wandered away from me a short distance and swam back, urgently signaling me to follow him. His eyes were as big as bowling balls. 
 
Release Date June 1
To preorder from Amazon http://bit.ly/HowlingPreOrder
 
 
 

 

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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE PRESCIENCE: A Young Adult Fantasy, Chapter 3: “Sneak Peek”

 
 
“SHIRA, GO BACK to sleep,” I whispered. “Jesus is here.”

The guards eyed Shira and lowered their guns. What danger could we pose with a small child?

Daniel and the uniformed men conversed in Hebrew. Because they spoke rapidly with heavy accents, I wasn’t sharp enough to catch most of it. My year and a half of Hebrew earned me an “A” but didn’t make me conversant with Israelis.

The taller man motioned for us to follow. He punched a code into the keypad of the heavy steel door. After a few seconds, the door opened.
 
 
We entered a small vestibule. The ominous shadows that flickered over the walls from the emergency lighting felt cold and calculating—walls that I knew were an illusion.

I expected bright floodlights to illuminate our surroundings and to see the impressive command center humming with computers and TV screens. Cameras set up in strategic locations around Jerusalem monitored hotspots and beamed back photographs and video. But no one was here.

The uniformed officer pushed open a hidden door on the opposite side. As we entered, a cool breeze poured in, probably from an air conditioning vent. The guard said nothing, and I found the silence unnerving.

We followed him through a narrow hallway. My anxiety increased. I’d never remember how to get out if something went wrong. I reached for Daniel’s arm. He shot me a reassuring glance.

The guard flipped a light switch as we entered through an unmarked door. “Jacob will be here shortly,” he said. Then he left.

Once the door was shut, I tried to relax.

“The guards are all business,” Daniel said. “They have their orders. Even when they know we’re one of them, they won’t deviate.”

I held Shira close to me. “What did the guard say? You talked so fast.”

“When you told Shira Jesus was here, their demeanor changed. Up until then, I don’t think they believed I was Jacob’s brother. They thought we were spies.”

“Oh.” I glanced around the room. A black leather sofa filled up one wall with matching chairs on each side. Three photographs above the sofa highlighted historical Jewish landmarks—the temple mount, Masada, and a third location I didn’t recognize. I pointed to it. “Where is that?”

Daniel eased closer to the photo. “That’s Petra, in Jordan.”
 
 
 
I knew it as Bozrah, spoken of in the Book of Isaiah. I edged over. Off to the side of the room was a small kitchenette and bathroom. On the kitchen counter was a well-used tea kettle stained from previous use. White plastic cups and an assortment of herbal teas filled a straw container. A square refrigerator took up the rest of the counter space.

I noticed an open Bible on the coffee table. I started to walk over to see what page someone had been reading, but Daniel picked it up and commented. 

“Someone underlined this passage in red. Ezekiel 38:14-16: ‘On that day when my people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company, and a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.’”
 
 
 
 
I stepped back from the table and sat on the sofa. Shira readjusted herself in my lap, clutching my shirt. “Whoever was in here must have believed Israel was facing the Ezekiel 38-39 war.”

Daniel sat beside me.

I glanced at the closed door. “Is your brother coming?”

“I hope.” Daniel leaned back, nodding off.

He had to be as tired as I was. Shira had closed her eyes again. Suddenly, a crazy thought swirled in my head. “Daniel, what if we went back to the seventh dimension?”
📘📘📘📘📘
To order,
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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE PRESCIENCE: A Young Adult Fantasy, Chapter 2: “Sneak Peek”

 
SOON NUMBNESS CREPT up my arms. Even though Shira was light, I wasn’t used to lugging around a small child.

Daniel offered to carry her, but she clung to me.

We walked past shards of glass and building fragments that littered the ground. The inferno had grown. Dead people covered the ground like ghosts. I couldn’t keep up with Daniel. “How much further?”

He adjusted our backpacks he’d slung over his shoulders. “Not far.”

I sighed.

The missiles had stopped, but the suffocating smoke burned my eyes. Sheets of flame shot up everywhere. Was there any place that was safe?

Daniel pulled out his iPhone. “Let me see if I can reach my brother.”

I started to call my mother, but my cell hadn’t worked since I left America a few weeks earlier. How long would the EMP attack in the United States keep communications down in the West?

 

I leaned against a stone pillar beside the road littered with debris and switched Shira to my other side. Jumping from one worrisome thought to another, I couldn’t focus. Even though I knew time was an illusion, how long had we really been gone? Could it be more than a few weeks?

Daniel interrupted my musings. “I can’t call or text.”

“Did the camera work?”

“Yes, I have the photo of her parents. Hopefully, that will help us to locate relatives.”

I sat on a nearby bench with Shira. When had I last slept? 
I ran my fingers through the child’s curly, brown hair. Soot covered her angel-like face. The only sign of the conflagration she had endured was the singed edge of her light-colored jumper.

“How old do you think she is?” Daniel asked.

The little girl held up three fingers.

Daniel cocked his head. “I spoke in English. She understands English.”

“Don’t Israelis understand English?”

Daniel eyed her curiously. “Not that young. Kids learn English in elementary school.
Her parents might be American or British.”
“She understands Hebrew also,” I added.

“God must have sent us—or you to rescue her. What else did the dog tell you?”

Shira had closed her eyes, but I knew she wasn’t asleep. “Shhh. I’ll tell you later. Let’s get to Jacob’s first.”
 
 
 
As Daniel led us through Jerusalem, I tried to shield my eyes. Corpses littered the city. Those few who were alive walked aimlessly in circles. Frozen cars sat motionless on the roads, now probably driven by dead people. I had never seen such carnage. How long would it take Israel to recover?

Why God? I remembered what Jesus said when he lamented over Zion.
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.”
The almost full moon rose higher into the sky. As we approached the Old City, intermittent flames offered a brief reprieve from the darkness. The ancient bulwark was a stark reminder Jerusalem would survive because God willed it.

My excitement at making wedding plans evaporated as I thought about what lay ahead. I wanted to run, but I was too tired. Shira must have fallen asleep in my arms because she was like dead weight.

“Can you carry her?” I managed to hand her to Daniel without waking her. How could I broach with Daniel what the dog said?

I moved in closer. “I didn’t want to say this when Shira was awake, but the dog told me she has no other family.”

Daniel slowed down. “She must have somebody. We could have a DNA test done.”

I hadn’t thought of that. “Yes, we could. I’m telling you what the dog said. He also said God had chosen us to take care of her. For how long, I don’t know.”

“She’s so young.”

I could sense his concern—how could we provide for the needs of a three-year-old? We had just turned eighteen and weren’t yet married. What did we know about parenting a child barely out of diapers?

More smoke blew in my face, and another round of sirens pierced the silence. I wanted to sleep and wake up to a different reality.

 
“Do you remember how to get to the underground bunker?”

“Yes, but how will we get inside at this time of night? That’s what I’m worried about.”
We passed through the Old City Jaffa Gate and the Muslim and Armenian quarters. Stores had closed hours earlier. I followed Daniel down several flights of stairs.

Fortunately, the Old City had been mostly spared during this attack although much cleanup remained. Endless stairs and dark corridors brought us to the bunker door. No one would imagine that behind the steel door was a secret command center and stargate to the seventh dimension.

Two watchmen stood at attention. I wasn’t sure if that was good or bad, but at least somebody was here. Shira woke up and Daniel passed her to me.

The guards, dressed in typical Israeli fatigues, held menacing guns and blocked us from entering. Daniel spoke in Hebrew. “I’m looking for my brother, Jacob Sperling.”

 

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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE PRESCIENCE: A Young Adult Fantasy, “Did Jesus Really Die on the Cross?”

Since the Jewish festival of Shavuot and the Christian religious day of Pentecost is upon us, I decided to share this excerpt from Seventh Dimension – The Prescience, which takes place on Pentecost in the first century. The question I asked myself before I wrote The Prescience was, what would happen if a Muslim convert from Hinduism heard Peter at Pentecost? What would be his reaction? 

God continues to encourage me with the editing as I finish my chemo treatments. I pray that this excerpt will help you to think about how you would witness to a Muslim. The excerpt includes one of the common questions that Muslims have about Christianity.  

The Berean Study Bible admonishes us:


So we aspire to please Him, whether we are here in this body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive his due for the things done in the body, whether good or bad. 11Therefore, since we know what it means to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is clear to God, and I hope it is clear to your conscience as well.

EXCERPT FROM THE PRESCIENCE
 
Love motivated Jesus. He died for all of us. We deserve death, but Jesus died in our place so we could spend eternity with him.”
 
Nidal glanced down at his sandals and pushed a loose stone aside. “You know, Islam tells us that Jesus didn’t die on the cross.”
Daniel scooted up closer. “Do you know that no one in history, out of the thousands who were crucified by the Romans, survived the crucifixion?”
 
“What do you mean?” Nidal asked.

“There isn’t a single recorded case of anyone ever crucified by the Romans who came down off the cross alive. Every person who was crucified by the Romans died. Don’t you think that if one person, especially someone as controversial as Jesus, had managed to survive, it would have been widely known and reported? Plus, think of the eyewitnesses who saw Jesus die. The scriptures also tell us the Roman guard speared him in the side to make sure he was dead.”

Nidal reflected on Daniel’s words but remained quiet.
“Crucifixion is torture,” Daniel said, “and if by some chance Jesus did survive the crucifixion, do you think he could have made a full recovery based on the crude medical methods of this time period?”
 
“But how can you be sure?”
 
“As far as I know,” Daniel said, “there is very little dispute among most historians that Jesus died on the cross.”
 
“I wish I had a computer. I’d search it on Google, but I have a counterargument.”
 
Daniel brushed his hair back from his forehead. “What’s that?”
 
“I heard an Imam claim that Jesus’ body was replaced with the body of Judas.”
 
Daniel shook his head. “That would be impossible. Judas had already died when Jesus was crucified. The betrayer’s entrails spilled out on the ground. That’s why the Jews had to sell the land. His blood had defiled it. Besides, dozens of people witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion, and Roman guards were present at his crucifixion the entire time.
 
“They took down Jesus’ dead body and gave it to his friends so they could prepare it for burial. They would have declared Jesus dead before they delivered his body to Joseph of Arimathea and the women.”
Daniel added. “Believe me when I tell you this. There is no way the Roman soldiers could have removed Jesus from the cross alive, retrieved the body of Judas that had been ripped wide open when he hung himself, and then nailed Judas to the cross in place of Jesus. That contradicts the historical record, and there were many people who stood by and watched. History would have recorded events differently.”
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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE PRESCIENCE: A Young Adult Fantasy, Chapter 1: “Sneak Peek.”

 

A LOUD EXPLOSION shook the ground as dust blew in my face.

“Run!” Daniel shouted.

Blinding light lit up the night sky. If only these were celebratory fireworks, but they weren’t.

I stared. My feet felt as if they were entombed in concrete. This couldn’t be happening—not now.

Daniel pulled on my hand. Seconds ticked by as I imagined my body being blown to bits. Sirens faded in and out. Swishing knives cut through the air, followed by rumbles. Each one got closer. Multiple alarms sounded as transformers blew across the city. I felt something burning and slapped my arm. 

“Ashes!” Daniel exclaimed. “Hurry.”

 
I wiped off the soot. How could this be? My ears rang from the dinning across the deadly landscape. Were those people I saw in the distance? They looked like zombies.
 
I couldn’t believe this was happening. One minute we were celebrating our first kiss, and the next we were running for our lives. I brushed back my long dark brown hair with my fingers. Another missile whizzed by.
 
Daniel nudged me as grass sizzled underneath our feet. Minutes later, he found an enclosure that reminded me of a bus stop.
 
I struggled to catch my breath. “We’re going to die.”
 
Daniel’s brown eyes reassured me. “We’re in a bomb shelter.”
 
For the uninitiated like me, I never dreamed I would need one. We didn’t have such things in America.
 
“You’re shaking,” Daniel said. He wrapped his arms around me. I didn’t want to think I’d taken my last breath.
 
A thousand thoughts supplanted that one. Was my mother still alive? 
 
When I returned from time traveling to the first century as a young teenager, I never told her where I had been. She would have taken me to that psychologist who wrote that stupid report. The wretched principal would have expelled me.
 
Why couldn’t this attack have waited a few more days? Jesus told us to marry, but we had just returned to Jerusalem.

Daniel whispered in my ear, “I love you, Shale.”

I broke into sobs.
  
 
A dog barked.
 
I touched Daniel’s shoulder. “Did you hear it?”
 
Unperturbed by my unusual gift—after all he had his own—Daniel’s eyes met mine. “What did he say?”
 
Now the sirens drowned him out. I stepped toward the shelter entrance, but Daniel blocked me.
 
“I’m not going to let you rescue a dog.”
 
“The dog needs help for an injured child.”
 
Daniel stared. “No, can’t be.”
 
“We must go.”
 
“You stay here and let me check.”
 
“You don’t understand dog talk. I must go.”
 
Daniel grimaced. “Let’s hope he keeps barking. Watch your step. There could be unexploded bombs.”
 
The only light came from fires burning in the distance. Shadowy embers floated from the sky.
 
The dog barked again.
 
“What’s he saying?”
 
I translated. “Hurry.”
 
Straight ahead, a shadowy four-legged figure appeared that reminded me of my friend, Much-Afraid, who’d guided me back in time. She was now safely at home with my mother. The brown furry dog that resembled a border collie wagged his tail.
 
Another bomb screeched by. The boom nearly broke my eardrums.

The dog took a few steps back and lowered his head.

Then I saw two bodies. A small child was stroking a young woman with mangled hair. I stumbled over bloodied shoes.

 

 
 
“Mommy.”
 
I knelt beside the child. “Thank God, she’s alive.”
 
“Her mother and father aren’t,” the dog said. “She has no one. God sent me to find a rescuer.”
 
My vocal cords went dry as numbness filled my throat.
 
“I must go rescue others. Take care of Shira.”
 
“Wait.” I reached over and touched the dog’s head, focusing on his crusty eyes. “What do you mean?”
 
“You are the ones God called.”
 
“I understand animal speak, but I don’t know this poor child. What was her name again?”
 
“Shira,” the dog replied.
 
I tried to pick the child up, but she clung to her dead mother.
 
“Others need my help,” the dog said. Then he took off, disappearing into the darkness.
 
“We need to find her relatives,” Daniel said. He walked around to the other side and searched the pockets of her father. I looked for a cell phone.
 
Daniel shook his head. “Nothing,”
 
“Her name is Shira,” I whispered.
 
I stroked the child’s back and spoke in Hebrew. “Sweetie, come with me. Your mother and father are sleeping.”
 
The child turned and focused her eyes on me. After a brief hesitation, she lifted her arms. She was small and light—and couldn’t be more than three.
 
“Let’s get out of here,” Daniel said.
 
“Where should we go?” 

“Jacob’s. He can help us find her relatives.”

When should I tell Daniel she had no relatives?
📕📕📕📕📕
 

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WHEN DARKNESS RULES – From the Castle: A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 3, SEVENTH DIMENSION SERIES

Half of “The Castle” takes place during Passover week in 33 A.D. Here is an excerpt from “The Castle” that readers familiar with the Bible will recognize.


https://booklaunch.io/llwroberts/thecastle – TO PURCHASE
 

Soon we were on the road. Stars covered the night sky against a full moon. The air felt unexpectedly nippy for Pesach. I asked Mark if he noticed anything unusual when Yeshua and his disciples emerged from the Upper Room.

“I’ve never seen Yeshua look so somber,” Mark remarked.

“Did he say anything?”

Mark shook his head. “He and the disciples only sang a song as they left.”

I wanted to ask which one but I let it go. “How do you know where they went?”

“They always go to the same place—the Garden of Gethsemane, to pray, on the Mount of Olives.”

“No. Occasionally the women go, but not tonight. He said only the disciples.”

“So how do you know where they go?”

“I’ve secretly followed them many times. Yeshua doesn’t mind. The disciples think I’m too young.”

We continued for a while in silence, following the familiar path from Bethphage. Once on the Mount of Olives, Mark took me to the olive grove on the lower western slope. The barren Judean Wilderness faced the Garden of Gethsemane to the east. Shadows wrapped the garden in darkness.

 

Mark started to point.

I held up my hand to stop him. “I don’t want them to see us.”

The olive trees in the grove provided good coverage. We could move in a little closer. I counted nine disciples. “Where are Yeshua and the others?”

Mark peered through the olive branches. “I don’t see Peter, James, and John.”

“I don’t know the disciples that well,” I confessed, “except for John, who introduced himself to me.”

“James is the brother of John. Peter is an outspoken fisherman. Peter, James, and John are Yeshua’s closest friends.”

“Surely he wouldn’t have come without them.”

“Come. Let’s see if they are on the other side.”

We made a wide arc and circled around to the back of the garden. I tried to filter out the indistinct voices from the nighttime insect chatter.

“That must be them,” Mark said.

We crept closer. A limb snapped.

I raised my hand. “Wait.”

“They didn’t hear it,” Mark whispered. “I see three of the disciples with Yeshua.”

I nodded.

What would Yeshua think if he found us here eavesdropping? This was an intimate moment between the rabbi and his disciples. Yeshua paced. The others appeared tired.

“Did you see Judas on the other side?” I asked.

Mark shook his head.

Yeshua dropped to his knees in front of his inner circle and cried out, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. I feel as if I am dying. Wait here and stay awake with me.”

I clenched my eyes.

Yeshua left his inner circle and collapsed on the ground a short distance away. His words pierced my heart.

“My Father, if it is possible, don’t make me drink from this cup. But let it be as you want, not as I want.”

Yeshua knew. He knew.

Wilderness of Judea

I glanced across the Kidron Valley at the Wilderness of Judea. The barren land was only steps away from the garden and a large enough area that he could hide from his pursuers. No one would ever find the rabbi in the desolate mountains. Why didn’t he flee?

I studied Mark, so young and innocent. He didn’t know what was about to happen. I reached out and hugged him, as much for my benefit as his.

A few minutes later, Yeshua walked back to his followers who had fallen asleep. He shook Peter on the shoulder. “Could you not stay alert with me for one hour? Stay awake and pray for strength against temptation. Your spirit wants to do what is right, but your body is weak.”

James and John watched sleepily as Yeshua attempted to awaken Peter.

Yeshua returned to the same spot and prayed again.

Mark turned to me and whispered, “Something bad is about to happen.”

“I know.”

Yeshua knelt in front of a rock and leaned his head on it. “My Father, if I must do this and it is not possible for me to escape it, then I pray that what you want will be done.”

I lamented. If only Yeshua were the son of David, the promised one.

Yeshua arose and went back to his disciples. They had fallen asleep. Again. He didn’t awaken them this time, but left them and wandered in the darkness back to the same spot.

He threw himself on the ground and prayed a third time. His sorrowful cries became more urgent. They were deep, mournful, human, and frail.

When he lifted his head, red tears in the moonlight streaked his face. I wanted to approach him, to offer solace. I glanced at Mark. Tears glistened in the boy’s eyes.

Mark leaned into me and whispered. “He’s going to die, isn’t he? I remember some of the things he said—”

I covered my mouth with my finger, signaling for him to be quiet.

Someone approached Yeshua as he lay prostrate on the ground; a large figure, perhaps eight feet tall.

“Who is that?” whispered Mark.

“I don’t know.”

The white translucent being embraced Yeshua. He wrapped himself around the prophet and prayed in words I didn’t understand. No more than a couple of minutes passed, and then the visitor was gone.

Yeshua’s demeanor outwardly changed. He now appeared resolute and determined, strengthened by the strange visitor. He immediately stood and hurried back to Peter, James, and John.

“Are you still sleeping?” he asked the men. “The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the control of sinful men. We must go.”

Garden of Gethsemane

Yeshua and his three closest friends returned to the other disciples, who were also asleep. Yeshua shook them awake.

I peered across the Kidron Valley. Dozens of flickering lights formed a procession from the temple all the way to the garden. Did it require so many to arrest one man? Heartbeats filled the darkness and marching feet stomped the ground. The long-anticipated confrontation neared. The darkness of the night deepened.

Suddenly, the disciples seemed to become aware of something amiss. They quickly rose from their slumber and stared at the quivering lights. Tension saturated the air as the disciples drew near their master. I could sense the mounting terror as they peered through the grove at the hundreds of approaching men.

“Here comes the one who will hand me over,” Yeshua said.

Mark unexpectedly moved closer.

I blocked him. “Are you crazy?”

“They are coming for Yeshua. We must stop them.”

“No, Mark, You can’t. You can’t do anything.”

His petrified eyes implored me, “Why not?”

“It’s too late.”

The Wilderness of Judea

I peered beyond the garden to the wilderness, a stone’s throw away. The rugged canyons, caves, and mountains would have provided cover for Yeshua, as it did for David when he hid from Saul, but Yeshua made no effort to flee.

The temple guards arrived behind the lantern holders and torchbearers. In the trembling light, I could see most of the soldiers carrying clubs and swords. The temple militia had trapped the disciples and Yeshua in the garden to prevent escape. I heard footsteps behind us. Other soldiers had ambushed us as well, although the olive trees hid us—for the moment.

The shuddering light shone on the faces of Yeshua and his followers, but a brief moment of indecision passed. The soldiers appeared not to know which one was the teacher.

 

Yeshua stepped in front of his frightened followers to shield them from the soldiers. Resolute and firm, reminding me of Commander Goren, my hero from World War II, his bravery caught the guards by surprise. They jumped backward, intimidated by his valor.

Judas spoke up. “The one I kiss will be Yeshua. Arrest him.”

Judas approached. “Hello, Teacher.”

Yeshua answered, “Friend, do the thing you came to do.”

Judas kissed Yeshua on the cheek.

Several of the temple soldiers seized Yeshua and arrested him. The rabbi offered no resistance. Unexpectedly Peter grabbed his sword and swung it at a servant.

Cries pierced the garden as the servant gripped the side of his head. Blood gushed between his fingers and dripped on the ground.

Yeshua shouted, “Stop!”

No one moved.Yeshua picked up the servant’s ear and reattached it. Then he turned to Peter and said, “Put your sword back in its place. People who use swords will die by the sword. I could ask my father and he would send twelve legions of angels. But everything must happen as it is written and according to the prophets.”

Yeshua picked up the servant’s ear and reattached it. Then he turned to Peter and said, “Put your sword back in its place. People who use swords will die by the sword. I could ask my father and he would send twelve legions of angels. But everything must happen as it is written and according to the prophets.”

Peter and the disciples trembled. They were unprepared for this—they never saw it coming.

Yeshua turned to face the chief priests and elders of the people who came to arrest him. In addition to the temple guards, the multitude included priests and scribes—almost everybody who was anybody connected with the temple.

I had anticipated it would be the Romans to arrest Yeshua, but the contingent was made up of his own people—the temple aristocracy.

Where would they take him?

The rabbi addressed the crowd. “Why did you come out here with swords and clubs? Am I a criminal? Every day I was with you in the temple area. Why didn’t you arrest me there?”

Yeshua dropped his head. “But this is your time—the time when darkness rules.”

The soldiers handled Yeshua roughly, tying his hands behind his back. Upon seeing the brutality of the highly trained soldiers, Yeshua’s disciples fled. The guards let them go. They had Yeshua, the one for whom they came. Satisfied, they hauled the rabbi away into the darkness.

Suddenly, I heard rustling behind us.

“Who are you?” a voice demanded.

Mark and I turned and faced another group of soldiers who held torches and clubs.

I tried to step in front of Mark to protect him, but he ran in between the guards.

One reached out to seize the boy, but only caught him by his clothes. Mark kept running, leaving his garment in the soldier’s hand.

I was glad he got away, although butt naked. The guard threw the boy’s robe on the ground in disgust.

Now it was only me.

“Who are you?” one of the soldiers asked.

“Daniel, Son of Aviv.”

One of the guards whispered, “He’s the Jewish charioteer, the one the Romans are searching for.”

 

The King, Book 2 in the Seventh Dimension Series

“Should we take him in?”

The two guards exchanged glances.

The second one replied, “What have the Romans done for us lately?”

The first one shrugged. “Leave him be. We got the one we wanted.”

But the second one hesitated. “Suppose he’s one of the followers?”

“He’s not one of them. He was racing chariots in Caesarea.”

With that, they left me behind. I watched as their torches disappeared in the darkness. Mark was gone. The disciples were gone. Yeshua—I didn’t know where they were taking him, but I could see the long line of quavering lights covering the mountain. I ran through the garden to catch up.

 

Surely, they weren’t going to do anything to the rabbi over Pesach. Maybe I was wrong—maybe it wasn’t too late. Maybe history could still be rewritten.

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BOOK EXCERPT FROM SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE CITY: A Young Adult Fantasy, Book 4 by Lorilyn Roberts

 

 

 

Time is an illusion in the Seventh Dimension.

The Illuminati want Shale’s ancient scrolls, and Shale and Daniel will stop at nothing to protect them. The battle rages from Jerusalem to Shambhala. With the apocalypse looming in the seventh dimension, Shale must choose: mortal love or immortality.



THE EYE stared at me. I hated that symbol. Mr. Beasley said it represented wisdom, but I didn’t believe him. I wanted to rip the poster off the wall.
 
My biology teacher’s voice brought me back to reality. “Shale, are you ready to begin?”
 
I stood and approached the podium, nervously stroking my long brown hair. My legs jiggled like the apps on my iPhone in wiggle mode. I glanced over at Chumana and Judd, my two opponents in the debate, and steadied my voice. “I want to assure you, we did not arrive here in UFOs or evolve from lower life forms. In fact, an all-knowing God created us in his image, as recounted in the first book of the Bible.”
 
I clicked on the first slide from the PowerPoint presentation showing the fresco painting of The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo.
 
Mr. Beasley interrupted. “Shale, this isn’t a religion class. We’ve spent six weeks studying evolution. I expect your arguments to be based on scientific fact, not religious references.”
 
“Yes, sir. May I continue?”
 
He waved his pen. “It’s your grade.”
 
The class snickered.
 
“As I said, the Bible says we’re the only creatures created in God’s image.”
 
“Does she believe this stuff?” a student muttered.
 
I bit my lip. Seconds passed. Maybe it would be better to faint and not finish. Somehow, I found my voice. “What does it mean to be created in the image of God?”
 
“It means we’re all gods,” Judd joked.
 
The room erupted in laughter.
 
Chumana rolled her eyes. “Everybody except Shale Snyder.”
 
The comments hurt, but I continued. “We are unique in the universe. God did not even create angels in his own image.”
 
“That’s a relief,” another student said.
 
A hot flash soaked my neck in perspiration.
 
“Have there been changes in animals? Yes, but God wrote those adaptations into the DNA. Species can change within the genetic code, but they can’t evolve into a new species. Besides, most mutations don’t help animals to survive.”
 
Mr. Beasley interrupted me again. “Name one scientist who agrees with you.”
“You can order Dr. Hugh Ross’s book from Amazon, A Matter of Days: Resolving a Creation Controversy.”
 
Mr. Beasley was nonplussed, but then a snarky smile covered his lips. “If there was a God who created everything, would you agree that evolution improved upon his creation?”
 
“Oohs” and “ahhs” filled the room. I glanced at Chumana and Judd as they jotted down notes. They would defend their positions when I finished.
 
Too many students appeared bored. Apathy seemed to be a common denominator when it came to God. I ignored Mr. Beasley’s question and continued with my prepared speech.
 
“I don’t believe it’s ethical to perform genetic experiments combining species or to attempt to create a perfect human—or any new animal.”
 
“And stop medical advancement that could lead to a cure for cancer and other diseases?” a boy interrupted. “My father is dying and you want me to believe in a God who would rather let him die than find a cure? DNA research can lead to cures.”
 
Applause erupted.
 
I countered his statement. “But do humans possess the heart of God? Are we intelligent enough that we can alter the genetic code only for good and not evil?”
 
Mr. Beasley stood. “Shale, you were to present arguments against evolution, not champion your religious beliefs. Because your statements are offensive to students in this class, I must ask you to stop your presentation and take a seat.”
 
My face and neck felt on fire as I stumbled from the podium. I dropped one of my cards. I started to pick it up, but Mr. Beasley reached it first. He handed me the card and whispered, “Nice try, Shale, but God has no place in the scientific community. Superstition and science don’t mix.”
 
I returned to my seat. Rachel smiled reassuringly. “Good job.”
 
I appreciated her praise, but Mr. Beasley’s opinion was the only one that mattered. He’d probably give me a failing grade, and I’d have to retake the class to graduate.
 
I glanced out the window. Dark, menacing clouds hinted at a brewing storm.
Mr. Beasley pointed his pen at Judd. “The podium is yours.”
 
Judd stood. As he leaned on the podium shuffling his papers, several girls ogled him. His dark, clear complexion, curly hair, and deep-set eyes made him a prize catch, but he had nothing on Daniel Sperling, my friend from the seventh dimension. If only he were here and could rescue me from this sea of ridicule.
 
Judd exuded confidence. “Evolution has been accepted as scientific theory by reputable scientists for the past hundred years, since Charles Darwin published his famous thesis on animal selection. We are evolving as humans.
 
“Sometime, in the not-too-distant future, we will possess the necessary knowledge to create a perfect human. There will be no more death or disease.
 
“The goal of the New World is to create a civilization ruled by a one-world government where the fittest survive.”
 
Judd paused to let his words sink in. He wagged his pencil. “Even now, we are on the threshold of opening a door to the future where we can take the best of each species and create a new one.”
 
He chuckled. “Imagine the woman of your dreams, perfectly shaped, who can hear like a wolf and see like an eagle—who wouldn’t want the perfect woman?”
Whistles and catcalls shot up around the room. Others clapped approvingly.
 
“Once humans have evolved beyond imperfection, we will no longer be limited. In fact, we will become as gods.”
 
Judd was on an unstoppable roll, and students embraced every word he uttered. He clicked on the PowerPoint wildly, and photographs of unusual animals popped up on the screen.
 
“Scientists at CERN are hoping to recreate the beginning of the universe with the hadron collider in France and Switzerland—even open doors to other dimensions. God has put no limits on our abilities. The Age of Aquarius has dawned, and the New World promises the utopia for which we all long, etched in our DNA through evolutionary processes.”
 
A photograph of a strange creature appeared on the screen labeled “Statue of Lord Shiva at CERN.” I quickly jotted down the caption to learn more about it later.
 
“We have much to look forward to as scientists discover new ways to create computers to think like humans. Soon we will be able to grow animals in test tubes that mimic human-like qualities. These robots will be programmed to perform the mundane tasks of day-to-day living, allowing humans to enjoy a more fulfilling life.”
 
Students stood and cheered.
 
After several minutes, Mr. Beasley stood. “Thank you, Judd, for that outstanding presentation. We all need hope for a better tomorrow.”
 
He glanced at Chumana. She was the only redheaded girl in the class, and her hot-tempered personality matched it. I didn’t know how I had survived sharing an apartment with her when my mother and I first moved to Atlanta.
 
Who did she hate more, God or me? What crazy story would she present today? I hoped it wouldn’t include her latest obsession with UFOs.
*~*~*`*
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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE CASTLE: A Young Adult Fantasy: “Time Travel to the First Century”


         




EXCERPT:



      I turned my attention to a group of men further away, where angry voices disturbed the temple ambiance. Their attire meant they were priests and members of the council. I drew closer to listen.
“We must find a way to trap him.”
“Trap him with his own words? Annas, forget it. We’ve tried that.”
“We need to arrest him and bring him in for questioning, but it has to be when his followers aren’t around.”
“He needs to be put to death,” Annas insisted. “He’s a threat to our power. The masses hang on every word he says.”
“Where does he go at night?” another asked.
The priests gazed at one another. No one had an answer.
“If we could find out, put a spy on Yeshua and bring him in when the people are still asleep—”
“We need a volunteer.”
The eyes of the holy men searched the cloister.
“We don’t have much time,” another said. “This has to be done before the start of Pesach.”
“That’s impossible.”
A priest threw up his hands. “What do you suggest?”
Two men had separated themselves from the rest towards the back of the cloister. I slipped closer to listen.
The men were elderly members of the council, but they weren’t dressed in priestly robes. They were probably Pharisees.
One of them ran his hand through his beard. “Once I asked the sage how I could be born again.”
“What did he say to you, Nicodemus?
“Joseph, I’ve never shared this with another member of the council.
“You have my confidence.”
Nicodemus touched his beard again. “He said that until a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Joseph palmed up his hands. “We need the kingdom of God now. How can we see it?”
Nicodemus glanced at the temple. “Ask God to reveal to us the truth.”
Joseph raised his eyebrow. “I know the truth.”
“How can you be sure what truth is?” Nicodemus asked.
“I’ve known Yeshua since he was young. He’s the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies.”
Nicodemus snatched Joseph’s hands. “Why don’t you tell the high priest?”
Joseph shook his head. “I keep praying God will open his eyes, as he has opened yours and mine.”
Nicodemus warned, “If they capture him, they’ll kill him. We can’t let that happen.”
I dropped my head and turned away. If two members of the council couldn’t change events, who could? Messiah or not, did he have to die? If time was an illusion, how many different pasts could exist? The futility of being stuck in the first century grieved me if I couldn’t change it. What was God’s purpose to bring me here? Surely, this wasn’t God’s appointed time—that couldn’t be changed—unless Yeshua was who he claimed to be.

📕📕📕📕📕
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BOOK EXCERPT: SEVENTH DIMENSION – THE CASTLE: A Young Adult Fantasy: “First Fruits – The Passion of ‘Seventh Dimension – The Castle:’” Devotional by Lorilyn Roberts


I have to confess, I have a hard time now referring to Easter as the day Jesus Christ was resurrected. I prefer to refer to this Sunday as The Feast of First Fruits. The name “Easter” has pagan origins and has nothing to do with the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the Messiah (Jesus, the Christ). 

While writing my third book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The Castle, I did a lot of research that has impacted my understanding of the Passion of Christ. To be completely transparent, I have always tended to skip over that part of the four Gospels. 

What happened to Yeshua is so disturbing, it’s not something I want to think about. I know He suffered and died for me because of my rebellion and sin. I deserve the death He bore for me on the cross. 

Thinking about the cross is uncomfortable. I’ve read those passages many times in my almost fifty years of being a Christian. Yeshua led a perfect life. What He endured was horrible. It’s difficult to read. It’s disturbing. 

The cross is what sets apart the believers from the non-believers. It’s heavy. It forces you to confront your own wicked heart. Once you have accepted Yeshua as your personal Savior, it’s difficult to read those passages because you know the suffering He endured He chose willingly. To put it personally, He did it for you and for me

I spent close to two months reading several books and scouring the web to understand as much as I could about the Passion of Christ. To write about something like this, you need to know it well. And I wanted everything I wrote to be historically accurate. 

The Passion of Christ in The Castle has been the hardest material I have ever written. I suffered immensely. Much of it, I believe, was due to spiritual warfare. One morning I woke up from a disturbing night’s sleep, and before I could pray, God spoke to me. He said three words: “Finish the book.” So that’s what I did. The first draft is finished and I am working on my own edits before submitting it to beta readers and professional editors.

I remember many years ago when I went through a painful divorce, someone said to me, “I wouldn’t want to go through what you’ve been through, but I envy what God has taught you.”

When we suffer, when we dig deep, when we read, when we pray, the amount that we invest in that process God honors abundantly. He comes alongside us and gives us Himself. He pours His Spirit into our souls. He opens our eyes. He talks to our hearts in a spiritual language that is far deeper than our human understanding of Scripture


Yeshua underwent six grueling appearances before the political and religious leaders in the twenty-four hours before his brutal death. Below is an excerpt from The Castle of one of those appearances.  

I don’t want to tell you to enjoy this excerpt. I do hope it will make you uncomfortable. Mostly, I hope on Sunday, you will set aside some time to truly reflect on what the death and resurrection of Yeshua, the Messiah, means to you. He was the First Fruit, meaning He was the first to be resurrected of the millions who will be resurrected at the last trumpet.


To give you a tiny bit of background, Daniel, Sperling, the protagonist in The Castle, is a witness to the events that took place. At this point in the story, he is twenty years old, Israeli, and does not believe Jesus is the Messiah. He is from our time and was transported back to the first century—to what I call a spiritual reality, the Seventh Dimension. The excerpt concerns Yeshua’s appearance before Herod Antipas, the fifth appearance in His six-part trial before being executed by crucifixion.


Chapter 23, Clowns and Circus

We entered the Hasmonean Palace where Herod Antipas stayed on his infrequent visits to Jerusalem. The attendants greeted us with guarded cordiality, but their uncomfortable glances at Yeshua spoke of silent apprehension. I doubted many prisoners appeared before Herod Antipas—especially ones sent from Pontius Pilate.

A runner must have warned Herod Antipas of our impending arrival. We seemed to be expected. Once the porter closed the door, the soldiers shoved Yeshua forward. His chains dragged along the marble floors and the heavy grating echoed off the walls. We crowded around and waited. Hopeful anticipation covered the faces of Caiaphas and Annas. A few minutes later, the Tetrarch made a flamboyant entrance. Exaggerated gesticulations of his hands revealed his extreme delight in meeting Yeshua.

The Tetrarch plopped down in a large chair and his attendants spread out the oversized robe beneath his feet. Once the servants took their positions beside the ruler, Herod turned his full attention to Yeshua. Twirling his hand, the Tetrarch smirked, “So at last we meet.” The Tetrarch rolled his eyes. “And under such extraordinary circumstances.”

Yeshua, bruised and exhausted, said nothing, not even to lift his head.

Herod took a different approach. “Come now, Rabbi, I have heard much about you. In fact, I have wanted to meet you for a long time, but perhaps the reports of your miracles are greatly exaggerated.”

Yeshua still said nothing. His silence put a damper on the Tetrarch’s enthusiasm, but Herod wasn’t so easily deterred. I knew his reputation. He couldn’t let this supposed miracle worker make him look bad.

With an air of flattery, Herod continued. “I’ve heard that you cast out demons.”

Yeshua’s countenance never changed. He stood, blood-shot eyes focused on the floor, arms behind his back, chained and bound between two guards.

When Yeshua remained silent, Herod Antipas filled the awkwardness with rambling blather, boasting about his authority, how much he liked John the Baptist—another of the rabbi’s kind—and how unfortunate it was that he had to behead him.

Yeshua remained silent.

“Oh, let me see, what have I forgotten?” the Tetrarch mused. He flashed his eyes at the ceiling. “Yes, you even raised a man from the dead.” An awkward silence followed again when Yeshua refused to answer.

Caiaphas and Annas waited patiently as the Tetrarch rattled on at the rabbi’s expense. The scene reminded me of a trapped, helpless animal taunted by bullies, only later to be slowly tortured. I glanced away, as had a paltry few others—resigned to the inevitable.

After a while, Herod must have realized Yeshua wasn’t going to answer him. The pompous ruler clapped his hands. “I insist you show me a miracle.”

Yeshua remained silent.

I remembered being at a circus when I was young. My memory superimposed itself on the room. Another dimension had found its way here. That moment wrapped itself around this one. Time once again became an illusion.

Blue and yellow floodlights tracked through the room. Herod’s servants, dressed as clowns, danced beside him. Caiaphas and Annas were string puppets. Hysterical laughter filled the room. Colorful stripes covered Herod’s kingly robe and banners waved from the ceiling. A faint smell of sulfur turned my stomach. I began to heave and wanted to run out of the room.

She was here.

As quickly as the strange vision began, it ended. Yeshua remained quiet, distant, and unfazed.

The Tetrarch demanded once more, “Show me a miracle,” but it was to no avail. Then Herod snapped his finger and ordered that the uncooperative guest be dressed in a royal robe.

An attendant placed an extravagant robe in the bloodied hands of Herod and the soldiers wasted no time wrapping the robe around Yeshua. The soldiers mocked the rabbi, played with him as if he were a toy. I watched from the back, feeling Yeshua’s humiliation, embarrassed by the soldiers’ carnal behavior.

Caiaphas and Annas and many members of the Sanhedrin watched with smug satisfaction. The baseness of their depravity astonished me. The High Priest and his father-in-law seemed like demonic puppets.

After the soldiers had had their fun and Herod had been sufficiently entertained, the Tetrarch ordered Yeshua to be sent back to Pilate, better dressed than when he arrived.

Time was quickly passing and the urgency to accomplish the task wore on the faces of Annas and Caiaphas. Exhausted, I lagged behind as the assembly hurried back to Pontius Pilate at the Antonia Fortress. 

*~*~*~*

Please visit http://LorilynRoberts.com to sign up for Lorilyn’s email list and to receive notifications and special offers on her books.


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BOOK EXCERPT: “A Sneak Peek at Book 3” – The Castle: A Young Adult Fantasy

I



Enjoy this peek. Kindle Amazon. 




“A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting our response to His Presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.” – A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.

The Seventh Dimension Multi-Award Winning Series continues in The Castle: A Young Adult Fantasy.

Haunted by a recurring dream of his missing father in a mysterious castle, 17-year-old Daniel is captured by the Romans and finds asylum in the Temple. There he discovers a scroll that reveals his future concerning a wager between good and evil.

But the stakes are raised when he witnesses the trial and crucifixion of Yeshua. The convergence of time with supernatural events creates a suspenseful ending and leads to the fourth book in the Seventh Dimension Series, The City, A Young Adult Fantasy—available 2016.





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Book Three, The Castle
One Week before Pesach, 33 A.D.
“Time is an illusion until God’s Appointed Times”


A ringtone caused me to stumble.
“Move,” an annoyed traveler mumbled.
Anxious pilgrims traipsed past me. Did no one else hear it?

The ringing continued – musical notes that blared from a rocky outcropping near the desert road. I got out of the way of others and rushed over to inspect the overhang, but the ringtone stopped too soon. Sliding my hand along the uneven shelf, I searched for the iPhone. Nothing.
I kicked the sand. Satellites didn’t exist in the first century and neither did cell phones. Perspiration beaded on my forehead. How dare nonexistent technology taunt me. When I glanced down, I saw a red cellphone protruding from the dirt. It was mine, the one some thief stole from me—two thousand years in the future.
The phone rang again. ID—unidentified.
I snatched it out of the sand. “Hello.”
Silence.
“Hello,” I repeated.
“Where are you going, Daniel?”
Chills tiptoed up my spine. I slouched against the rocks. “Why do you torture me?”
The ventriloquist spoke in a smooth voice. “I want to help you.”
The demon who had duped me into accepting a counterfeit gift when I lost God’s gift wouldn’t fool me again. I shouted into the phone. “No, you don’t.”
A woman nearby flinched.
I needed to lower my voice.
“Why are you going to Jerusalem, Daniel?”
I rubbed my eyes and wiped the sweat from my face. Crouched on the ground with my knees knocking, I spoke softly, “Why do you keep harassing me?”
“Don’t go to Jerusalem.”
My voice quivered. “Leave me alone.”
Annoying static blared.
“Don’t go to Jerusalem, Daniel.”
The raspy voice made me panic. Maybe I should listen to her.
My voice cracked. “Why?”
Another passerby gawked. Only crazy people spoke to themselves in the first century.
Click.
The phone dissolved in my hand. I splayed out my fingers and stared. How could my hand be gray? In fact, tones of gray saturated the sky and everything else. I squinted.
Had the chariot accident damaged my vision? No, this must be the ventriloquist’s wicked magic. She wanted me to believe I was going crazy as my family was apt to tell me. I balled my hand in a fist. “No!”
A couple of people ogled me.
An old man approached. “Are you all right?”
I nodded, appreciating his concern. I waved at the onlookers. “I’m fine.”
I turned and muttered a few choice words. How many times in the seventh dimension had things not been as they appeared?
A few minutes later, hoof beats filled the dry desert air. Roman soldiers, outfitted in heavy accouterments, led a long procession. Chariots adorned in the best Roman decor followed the horses.
Why did I have to run into Roman soldiers so soon? I hadn’t even made it to Jerusalem. I was a wanted man. Travelers cleared to the sides of the road to let the peacekeepers pass.
I rubbed my eyes. The demon’s wiles—I would not listen. God must be showing me something I didn’t yet understand.
Because of the traffic, the Roman caravan slowed to a crawl. Fancy chariots brought up the rear. I peered inside the first compartment. Pontius Pilate sat beside an attractive woman. I laughed. The hanky dropper at the chariot races hated the Jews. How much trouble would we cause the Roman governor this spring festival?
Pesach was the only Jewish tradition my family kept in 2015. God had delivered the Jews from Egyptian slavery over a thousand years before the first century when he drowned the cruel taskmasters in the Red Sea.
The Romans took a while to pass. Precious minutes ticked by. The Shabbat meant nothing to them, but before the first two stars appeared, I needed to be on the Mount of Olives or outside the city gates.
My stomach churned. What would I give for a few figs and berries to satisfy my hunger.
I didn’t relax until the Romans disappeared. I turned towards Jerusalem. I must make it to Jerusalem in time. I must. The Romans would think I had stolen the racing horses when I ran away. I hadn’t, but runaway slaves didn’t live long in the first century. God was my only hope. I slung my bag over my shoulder, rubbed my eyes, and walked faster.
“Please, God, heal my vision,” I prayed.




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BOOK EXCERPT: FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Quick and Easy Recipes for Homeschooling Families: “Chocolate Éclair Dessert”





This is my traditional Christmas dessert – so yummy!



We are having our One Another (Prayer Group) Christmas party tonight and so I thought, why don’t I post the dessert I am bringing. Actually, this dessert is in my “Food For Thought” book that I’ve linked here on Amazon, if you want to check out all the recipes. Try this one! Kids will love it and so will adults.

8 SERVINGS
3 cups plus 3 tablespoons milk
1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip
2 boxes French vanilla instant pudding
3 tablespoons butter (do not substitute margarine)
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (orange box)
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons corn syrup
1½ cups powdered sugar
Graham crackers
For filling: Mix milk, Cool Whip, and instant pudding. For frosting: Melt butter (do not substitute margarine) and chocolate baking squares. In a separate bowl, mix vanilla, 3 tablespoons milk, corn syrup, and powdered sugar. Combine both of the above with a mixer.
Line 9 x 13 pan with graham crackers. Add filling, then another layer of graham crackers on top of filling. Frost top layer of graham crackers with frosting mixture by pouring it over the top and using a butter knife to spread. Let cool in fridge for an hour before serving.




CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIR DESSERT
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President

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BOOK EXCERPT: CHILDREN OF DREAMS: Chapter 8: “Ask the Animals, and They Will Teach You”

…ask the animals, and they will teach you
Job 12:7
(Excerpt from Children of Dreams, Chapter 8)





My mind flashed back to when I was young.
I was awakened by a big white dog licking me in my face and jumping all over my bed. As I tried to open my eyes from what I thought was a dream, my mother said, “This is Gypsy. We are going to keep her.”

Gypsy was the friend I longed for but didn’t have. When I came home from school, she would greet me at the door with her tail wagging. I walked her, fed her, and played with her. After we returned from each walk, I would announce how many times she had used the bathroom, both number one and number two, as if to validate I was the best dog walker in the world. I even cleaned up after her when she threw up so nobody would know.

Gypsy was a stray. The night before she jumped on me in bed she had snuck into the house with my dad. She was God’s gift to me. We were inseparable.

One afternoon I arrived home from school and knew something was wrong. She didn’t greet me at the door like she usually did and I ran through the house frantically looking for her.  

“She’s gone,” my mother and father told me. “She won’t be back. The manager of the apartment came and took her away.”

“Where did they take her?”  I cried.

“The manager said they would dump her off on the road somewhere far from here. You know the apartment complex doesn’t allow dogs.”

I ran out of the room and up the stairs to my bedroom. My mind was flooded with memories of the most important thing in my little world. My heart was broken, confused, and hurting. Gypsy was gone.

That night bolts of thunder crashed outside my bedroom. Lightning pierced through the window shades. I imagined Gypsy in the darkness. I could feel her white warm fur against my skin and see her dark, brown eyes pleading for me to come to get her. I cried into my pillow as peels of thunder bounced off the walls. If Gypsy ever found her way back, I vowed to run away with her. I would never let anybody take her from me again.

But the next day came and went and she didn’t return. I went to school each day hoping for the impossible, that somehow she could find her way back from wherever they dumped her.

It was Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. We were packing things up to go visit my new father’s family in North Carolina. My mother had recently remarried. I kept looking up the hill in front of the apartment, imagining that she would come running down the street any minute. I knew it would be impossible, but still, I hoped. I made one last trip to my bedroom. The car was loaded and we were ready to leave. I picked up my pillow and thought of the first morning she licked me on the face in bed.

“Please, Gypsy, come back to me. You need a home and someone to love you. I need you.”

I walked out the door of our apartment to get into the car. I glanced one last time up the hill. Out of nowhere, suddenly, there was something white. Was it, could it be—I dropped my pillow and started running up the hill. I ran as fast as my legs would carry me, my mind racing to think what seemed like the impossible. It couldn’t be—but it was.

Gypsy ran frantically toward me, tattered, dirty, and exhausted. Somehow she had miraculously found her way home through the raging storm. After being lost for days in the cold November nights, miles from our home, Gypsy had done the impossible. She had found her way back to me.

“Gypsy!” I cried. I crouched down to grab her as she jumped into my arms, holding her tightly around the neck, crying and rejoicing all at the same time. My dog was lost, but now she was found.

“I will never let go of you,” I promised. She squealed with delight and licked my face. For the first time in my young life, I knew there had to be a God.

📘📘📘📘📘

The picture above is one of only three pictures I have of my beloved dog. She died of kidney failure when I was fifteen, and as we were burying her, another huge storm came up, with thunder and lightning, completely out of nowhere. It was a beautiful day. We had to rush to get her buried. 

I truly believe there was something supernatural about Gypsy. God gave her to me to show me God existed and loved me. I promised Gypsy that someday everybody would know who she was, that I would tell the world about her. 

I didn’t have any idea how that would happen when I was fifteen, in the dinosaur age before the internet and all the other technology that exists today, but I didn’t doubt that I would. It was a promise I made to her, and I’m thankful that I kept my promise. It was as if I made that promise to God. Dog is God spelled backward, and God revealed Himself to me in a dog that loved me, and for that, I will always be thankful. 



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BOOK EXCERPT: CHILDREN OF DREAMS, AN ADOPTION MEMOIR: “Let Us Go Up To The Mountain of the Lord”

Chapter Seven
…let us go up to the mountain of the Lord
Micah 4:2

I ate a light breakfast at the small restaurant inside the Bleu Hotel, consisting of tea and toast. I made sure everything was packed for the trip, including nuts, bananas, and candy bars.

“You have to feed everybody for the trip,” Ankit said. “There will be five of us.”

I triple-checked that I packed all six sets of documents and that everything was in order. I was anxious to get going and was impatient for him to show up.

At last, he arrived at the hotel wearing jeans, a light jacket, and a red cap, along with the driver in a white van. It was barely light outside and quiet. The streets were empty and the stores had not yet open. I was surprised that Manisha and her father weren’t in the van.

“We’ll pick them up on the way out of town,” Ankit reassured me. I wondered if Manisha had anything to eat. If not, she could fill up on all the snacks I brought. I showed Ankit the food and we both climbed into the van.

Wearing a blue dress and white blouse, I was glad to be spared another motorcycle ride. I loaded a fresh roll of film in my Nikon camera and made sure I had plenty of money to pay the driver. My paranoia prompted me to check once again that I wasn’t missing any documents.

I looked forward to getting out of Kathmandu for the day (the dusty air was bothering my sinuses) and seeing the beautiful countryside and towering Himalayan Mountains.

“Be sure to bring your camera,” Ankit said. “You will get a good view of Mount Everest if it’s not cloudy.”

It took a while to travel through downtown Kathmandu. The sun was just beginning to cast its first rays of light over the streets and buildings, and I could see shadows of people in the distance.

I was startled to see so many standing on the edge of small streams by the road brushing their teeth. The water appeared muddied from the rains. I had noticed a toothbrush and toothpaste in the hotel room when I met Manisha. For a country that didn’t seem to use toilet paper, it surprised me that anyone would brush their teeth.

Ankit exited the van and walked into the hotel to retrieve Raj and Manisha. Eventually, they made their way out and I saw that Manisha was wearing the same dirty blue outfit from the previous day. My heart ached to put something new on her. I imagined how beautiful she would look in the pretty pink dress and checkered blue top I brought her.

They climbed into the van and Raj smiled at me. Manisha was quiet and did not want to sit beside me today. She stayed with her father. I asked Ankit to ask Raj if she had eaten.

“A glass of milk,” he replied. I felt bad as I had eaten more than she had.

After a while, we left Kathmandu far behind. Old brick and concrete buildings were replaced with scenic flowers and grass, with clumps of trees dotting the countryside. Every so often we passed young lads shepherding cows on the side of the road. Grass took over where there had been dirt and scenic rolling hills followed one after another in an orderly, rhythmic pattern. The panoramic vistas, the motion of the van, and lack of sleep made the trip seem dream-like, but I was jolted back to reality by the start and stop of the steady stream of vehicles ahead of us and those coming from the opposite direction.



As the day went on, the road deteriorated into one bump after another. Eventually, the two-lane road narrowed to one, and the rolling hills out of Kathmandu became gigantic mountains. The road wound like a child’s slinky, and I wondered at every turn if someone approaching from the other side would hurl us into the abyss below. Around every bend I heard horns honking, ours or another car, and sometimes both.

Our destination was the Dolakha District of the Janakpur Zone, the town of Charikot. Our trek took us from Lamusagu, which was about 47 miles outside of Kathmandu, to Lamosagu Jiri, another 27 miles. Then we traveled to Khaktapur, which had been the main trade route for centuries between Tibet/China and India. That accounted for the high volume of traffic. Its position on the main caravan route made the city rich and prosperous by Nepali standards.



The scenery was spectacular. Never had I seen such incredible beauty. We were surrounded by mountains in every direction as far as the eye could see. I wondered how such incredible beauty could coexist side by side with some of the most destitute people in the world. If it weren’t for the children who were so malnourished, with protruding bellies and red hair, I could have been totally absorbed in the magnificence of the Himalayans, but the children were heartbreaking.
Nepal’s per capita income was only $180 per year, one of the lowest in the world and the lowest in South Asia, where the average per capita income was $350 per year. Of its eighteen million inhabitants, half lived in abject poverty.

The next town was Dolalghat, where we crossed a long bridge over the Tamakosi River, which was about six hours from Kathmandu.

We subsequently came upon the Indrawati River where a large group of people was gathered, facing an unusual construction of wood in the middle of the river. It was still smoldering from being burned.

“What is that?” I asked Ankit.

“They are having a funeral. It is the Hindu custom to burn the dead body over a river.”

I hated thinking about Manisha’s birthmother in that way.

“Just down the river a little further,” he continued, “at Chere, we recently baptized about twenty people.”

I chose to focus on the baptism of believers in the river rather than the burning of dead bodies for the rest of the trip to Janakpur.

We traveled along the Bhotekosi River and crossed that river at Khardi Sanopakhar, Dada Pakhar, and Thulopakhar, which was close to Ankit’s village.

Then we came to Sildhunga, Mude, and Kharidhunga, which were nine thousand feet above sea level. After that, we traveled through Boch, and finally arrived at Charikot, which was the district headquarters of the Dolakha District in Janakpur, arriving in the late afternoon. Januk was the name of a famous king and “pur” means city or town. It was a historical holy city.

As we were driving along and the road became nearly intolerable to ride on, I looked at Manisha and wondered how she could not get sick. I shouldn’t have thought it because soon thereafter, she threw up. Her father tried to hold her out the window as we were driving until the last of the milk landed on the road instead of in the van. Maybe it was a good thing she only had milk for breakfast. She looked dreadfully unhappy. If only I had brought a change of clothes for her.

After a long while, we stopped. Everybody got out and walked in different directions. I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.

Ankit glanced back at me and said, “It’s time to go to the bathroom.”



I convinced myself I didn’t need to go. Maybe if I waited a while, we would come to a restaurant somewhere, like a McDonald’s, and I could go then. Of course, there was nothing but mountains around us in the middle of the Himalayans. I just wasn’t ready to head for the bushes.

“I don’t need to go,” I lied, waiting in the van while everyone else disappeared. Plus, I didn’t bring any toilet paper. D___ that toilet paper. As I looked out the window, a female monkey in season scurried by the van.

I had a few moments to be captivated by the view. There was nothing around me but mountain peaks adorned in various shades of blue and green. I wondered how there could be so much evil, so much violence, so much wrong with the world when so far from all of that, God’s handiwork stood tall and majestic. It was like God had painted the sky, the mountains, the rivers, and waterfalls with a touch of heaven, a glimpse of what awaits us beyond heaven’s gates. The mountains and the trees and fields would have burst forth in praise if it were possible.

The beauty was like a tiny thread woven through a tapestry where time and sin had ravaged the perfect nature of all things; one lone thread that promised redemption, a taste, if you will, of the magnificence of God’s original creation.

Within me, a sense of longing arose, a burning desire to partake of the beauty of our heavenly home that God is preparing for us. Whatever my eyes have beheld here, that my senses have been awakened to, so much more so will it be there. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 2:9, “… as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

Eventually, everyone returned to the van. Manisha and her father climbed in sitting to the left of me in the back. She had warmed up to me again and I was able to hold her for a few minutes as the van gathered speed on the half-paved, half dirt road.

Her clothes now were not only dirtied and soiled but smelled of sour milk. Her shoes, riddled with holes and far too small, had been tossed into the back of the van.

It was still hard for me to believe she was going to be my daughter. I would rest easier when we were in the air over Kathmandu and headed toward Los Angeles. That seemed an eternity away right now. There was lots of talk going on but since everyone spoke in Nepali, I didn’t know what was being said except for the occasional translation by Ankit.

We continued to travel for a long time passing through small villages where we had to make numerous stops to register with an official who sat in a hut beside the road.

A couple more hours passed and no McDonald’s or Wendy’s showed up on the radar, so I thought before things got desperate, I better do something. There were too many jolts in the van on the bumpy road to wait too long.

Ankit asked the driver to stop and a few minutes later he pulled the van over to the side of the road.
“Is this okay?” Ankit asked.

“Well, I don’t have any toilet paper.”

He looked back at me in amazement. “Why didn’t you bring toilet paper?”

“I didn’t know I would need toilet paper. I just thought we would stop somewhere at a restaurant and go.”

“We’re out in the middle of the Himalayan Mountains!”



There were no restaurants out here, just mountains and small make-shift homes with poor, needy children running around taking care of cows more dead than alive, and one monkey in heat. No five-star hotels, let alone anything resembling a Western-style restaurant.

“We’ll stop at the next village and I’ll try to get some,” Ankit said.

Guys just don’t get it, I thought. Or maybe I really am a soft American.

Later we made a brief stop at a little shack in a small village. Ankit ran in and purchased some toilet paper, quickly came out, and handed it to me through the window. I tried not to look embarrassed and avoided eye contact with everybody. I was just glad to have my toilet paper.

We proceeded to drive along the road and every few minutes the driver slowed down and Ankit would look back at me with a questioning look, “Is this a good place to stop? Do you want to stop here?”

“Yeah, this is okay,” I said at last. I just wanted to be done with it.

I climbed out of the van and started heading down a little path off to the side of the road carrying my toilet paper mumbling to myself, “I am not a soft American girl. Gee, they probably do this all the time.”

After doing my deed I headed back up the trail and saw that everyone else had left the van. Fortunately, nobody went my way, so I just waited until everybody returned.

By now we were all hungry so I handed out some of the snacks that I brought and we began to munch on them. It was about 3:00 or so in the afternoon when we finally arrived at the CDO’s office.

We pulled off the road to a large open area in front of a two-story, white concrete building with brown shutters. A red and white Nepali flag hung limply from a flag post out front. There were a few children and men milling about. It was quiet and peaceful, unlike the bustle of activity in Kathmandu. The whole area was surrounded by mountains off in the distance.

As I looked toward the east, Ankit said, “Just over those mountains is China.” It felt like the ends of the earth. I took a few pictures and then followed Ankit up the flight of stairs to the second story of the CDO’s office. Manisha and her father followed closely behind. I clasped my documents under my arm and held on to them nervously.

“You need to be friendly with the CDO and talk to him when he asks you questions.” I could tell Ankit was also nervous.

Appearing in front of a government official who wielded such power over my future was certainly out of my bailiwick. I tried to focus on the matter at hand but my heart was racing, wanting it to be done. My throat was so dry I wasn’t even sure I could respond to any questions he might ask me.


The outpost to get Manisha’s document signed, near China

As we stood in the doorway, the room appeared very dark. We were motioned in and I found an empty seat several feet from the door. As I waited for my eyes to adjust, I gazed through the window. The Himalayan Mountains in the distance seemed to symbolize the huge hurdle in front of me in the guise of this official.

Manisha sat beside me. One exposed light bulb with wires crisscrossing the ceiling provided the only lighting. Old wooden chairs lined the bare walls. I felt like I was starring in a movie as I sat in the dusty, dingy office of the CDO of Dolakha, Nepal.

A man in his early 30s, the CDO was dressed in a green suit with a pointed little cap on top of his head. It was hard to comprehend how a man on the other side of the world could have such incredible control over my destiny except God had given him that authority.

My thoughts flashed back momentarily to all that preceded this defining moment in my life. As a child, my parents told me I was born under a cloud. My husband chided me, “Is this another one of your sad stories?”

“I don’t love you anymore,” my partner spitefully responded one night after I presented him with evidence that he was seeing another woman. I remembered the wine bottles and cheese that I uncovered in the garbage after being away for a few days visiting my family.

I replayed scenes of the long hours I worked as a court reporter putting him through medical school. I recalled the night he contacted the police after I confronted him in his office at the hospital. Two weeks after our divorce was final, the other woman gave birth to his child. I was devastated and hurt. Only a loving God could help me to recover and begin a new life in Him. Would God give me a chance to redeem the years the locusts had eaten?

A few years after my divorce, I received a letter from World Vision, an evangelical organization that sponsors children in Third World countries. The beginning of the letter, dated February 13, 1993, read: “Over 150 million children worldwide are trapped by hunger, sickness, poverty, and neglect.” I took the letter and put it on my refrigerator. Someday, I thought, I am going to adopt a child from another country. How and when only God knew.

The letter ended with the quote from Proverbs 13:12 (LB): “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true at last, there is life and joy.”

I looked at Manisha and reflected on what the future would hold. With her piercing, dark brown eyes focused on me, she spoke softly in clear English, “I love you.”

I responded back, “I love you, too.”

I did not know how she could have uttered those words because she could not speak English. I thought about what the Bible said concerning speaking in tongues and wondered if I had witnessed another one of God’s miracles. Whether I could explain it or not, it gave me the assurance I needed over the next few days that God was in control.

As we sat and waited, there was a lot of talk in Nepali.

The CDO asked Ankit a few questions as various men walked in and out handing him papers to sign.

He continued to pour over my documents and after a while looked up and asked, “You’re not forty?”

“No,” I said, “but I’m almost forty.”

“It’s the law you must be forty.” He gave a cursory glance through the rest of my papers. He and Ankit exchanged a flurry of words in Nepali. Some elderly men sitting in the room stared at me. I had the feeling that Ankit was talking about my infertility. I felt exposed that such personal information was being bantered about. I saw worry in Ankit’s eyes and knew my hopes of becoming a mother were precariously in limbo.

Ankit and the CDO continued to talk for a while longer. I went and sat by him hoping for some reassurance. More old men came in and the CDO turned his attention to other matters. About this time, Manisha’s father, not happy with the sudden turn of events, took Manisha outside and I could hear her running up and down the wooden planks.

Ankit said to me in a whisper, “The CDO said he cannot approve your adoption because you’re not forty, and he has to abide by the law. He is putting in a call to the legal office in Kathmandu to see if they will give him permission but they won’t do it. We will have to go ourselves and meet with the Home Minister after we get back to Kathmandu.”

We continued to wait for a long time for the phone call. Finally, the phone rang and the CDO talked loudly on the phone. When he got off, they discussed the call. I could tell it wasn’t good.

Ankit shook his head indicating that he could not get permission to sign my paperwork.
“I wish I could do your adoption, but I can’t,” the CDO told me in broken English.

I knew it wasn’t his fault. He had tried. I had known before I came to Nepal about the age forty rule, but what difference did it make in my case because I couldn’t get pregnant? Written laws prohibiting a child from having a home, a future, and hope—why, God?

Manisha was an orphan; her mother had died when she was a baby, and her father couldn’t support her. He didn’t want to support her. Girls were considered a liability in Hindu culture and without Her birth mother, the life she faced was one of destitution and death.

This road seemed so familiar to me. I had walked it before, more than once; loss, separation, and abandonment. I cried out, “Not here, Lord, not in Nepal. A three-year-old orphan girl needs a chance to know You.”


We will be in Nepal soon taking Christian books to orphans through Child Hope International. For $34.95, I am offering a special edition signed copy of my book to help Child Hope International continue their efforts to find homes for orphans and pay for their education.
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BOOK EXCERPT: CHILDREN OF DREAMS: “A Longing Fulfilled is Sweet to the Soul”


Chapter Four
A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul
Proverbs 13:19
The next morning I awoke at 5:30 a.m. Back home, it was 5:30 p.m.,a twelve-hour time difference. I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and took a walk in the opposite direction from the previous day. Shops were beginning to open and people were sweeping the dust off the streets in front of their stores with small handheld brooms. I grabbed something to eat and arrived back at the hotel at about 8:00.

It was Saturday, the only day of the week that Nepalis didn’t work. I called Ankit to see if I could attend church with him. I was anxious to meet Manisha and I thought if I was with him, it would speed things along. I also wanted to see what his church was like since he was the pastor.

He arranged to have a taxi pick me up and drop me off at a certain location, and he would take me from there. I carried my Bible in full view thinking I would be thrown in jail, but Ankit had assured me it was okay. I felt awkward toting it around where there were so few Christians. Most of the people in Nepal were either Hindus or Buddhists.

Today as I write, after several years of bloodshed and fighting, Nepal has dissolved its Hindu Monarchy and instituted a Republic. The future is uncertain, much like Russia, which teeters between a pro-western form of democracy and the tyranny of its former despotism. God opens doors for a time in countries, and we must seize the opportunity to be a witness to the Gospel while those doors are open. We never know when those opportunities will close.

After what seemed like a long wait—the world of Nepal exists in slow motion compared to America—Ankit arrived and we traveled a short distance to his church. Located several hundred feet back from the road, it was in a small concrete building that would have been hard to find without his help.

On this sunny Saturday morning in April, a guest speaker from the U.K. delivered the sermon in English with Ankit translating into Nepali. The tall, bearded Englishman was preaching from the Book of Ruth which was¬ written over three thousand years ago. So universal in application, a pastor could preach from it in a different language and culture halfway around the world and have it be as meaningful there as it is here. The message was directed at Nepali Christian students on how to honor their Hindu parents while not sacrificing their Christian testimony.

The men of the congregation sat on one side of the room and the woman sat on the other. There were mats on the floor and fans to keep the building cool as there was no air conditioning.

Before I walked in, I took my shoes off and left them outside the door in a pile with everybody else’s. Upon entering, it almost seemed like I was in my own church back home. I could feel God’s presence, warm and refreshing, and sense His love among the people. Some in the congregation even spoke a little English as many of the Nepalis were students from the University of Kathmandu.

Ankit introduced me to his wife, his mother, and several other relatives. Almost everyone in Ankit’s family was a believer. It was exciting to see what God had done in his life and how so many members of his family had come to know the Lord. There were men, women, children, families, young people, old people, and college students, as well as many visitors.

The service went longer than the typical American church service with a lot of singing and music, and many songs were familiar. In a lot of ways, except for the seating arrangement and bare feet, the order of worship was very similar to my church in Gainesville, Florida. With everything being translated into Nepalese, it went very long. I tried to be patient and attentive. Finally, the worship ended and several more people came over to greet me. We chitchatted for a few minutes about my adoption and what it had been like since arriving in Nepal.

Ankit walked me to the door and asked, “Do you want to meet Manisha now?”

There was nothing else I wanted to do more. My heart skipped a beat in anticipation. Suddenly waves of fear swept over me—suppose this meeting went awful? Suppose her father wouldn’t give her to me? Suppose I didn’t like her? Suppose this was all a big mistake?

The evil one wanted to steal my joy. How many times did I believe his lies? How many times was I hoodwinked into giving up my dreams (the dreams that God gave me)? The only power Satan has is the power to deceive, and too many times I had allowed him to do so.

I had waited too long and traveled too far to listen to him. I believed God was with me and brushed the negative, destructive thoughts aside. I wasn’t going to let the evil one have a foothold on this day. As Ankit often said, “These Nepali children have a soul and they need a home where they can come to know Jesus.”

I thought of the words to the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children: All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”

There was a great deal of discussion about how transportation would be handled and the future course of events for the day. It was decided I would ride behind him on his motorcycle in my best Sunday dress, once again, carrying my Bible. We traveled for several blocks through the streets of Kathmandu and were almost to the outskirts of town when we pulled up to another bare concrete building. It looked dirty and rundown.

“I have to go to the bathroom.” I could tell that was not what Ankit wanted to hear. My anxiousness had put my kidneys in overdrive, and it had been several hours since I had an opportunity to use the facilities.

He looked at me with one of those knowing looks. “Well, you can go here if you want, but you may not want to.” We continued walking around the outside of the building trying to find the entrance, now with even more of a sense of purpose.

Having no luck, Ankit said, “Why don’t you wait here and I will go in and try to find it.” Eventually, he came back out and motioned me into the building. He pointed to the facilities at the end of a dark hallway. I started to walk in, but I could already smell the stench. No matter how badly I needed to go, I would wait.

Ankit later came up with a phrase for my fellow Americans and me, “You Americans are soft.”

Moving to the matter at hand, he said, “They are upstairs.” We found the stairway and proceeded up. We wandered around on the second floor in the dark because he couldn’t remember which room they were in. He found a door that looked like the right one and knocked. Nothing happened. He knocked again a little louder and still, nothing happened.

“I’m sure this is the right room,” he whispered. Standing there for a minute not sure what to do, he opened the door and looked in.

“Yeah, she’s in there.” I was standing beside him and hadn’t yet seen inside.

“I want to look in.” The wait seemed unbearable.

Ankit stepped aside to allow me to see. I peered in and Manisha was bouncing on one of the beds with just her shirt on. Her father lay straddled across the opposing bed asleep as if he had been up all night.

If I had been writing this scene for a play, there would have been a grand crescendo of music playing right about now, perhaps Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” The plush, velvet curtains would open to a beautifully prepared stage fit for a princess. Everyone would be applauding the momentous, joyous occasion. My fondest moments paled in comparison to this one.

As Jesus was born in a manger without pomp and celebration, giving up His Kingship and heavenly home to become one of us, there was nothing to make this moment seem extraordinary. I was simply a young woman adopting a little girl in a foreign country, nothing that would make the headlines on CNN or Fox News.

The room was barren with no furniture save the two bare beds with a single white sheet covering them. Not even any drapes to cover the broken windows. No air conditioning to cool the hot, dirty Nepali air. No television, no telephone, no books, and no rugs covered the cold floor. I have no doubt, though, that heaven stirred with excitement and anticipation as one of God’s precious little ones would soon be joined with her new mother. Jeremiah 1:5 says: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

📕📕📕📕📕


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