Posts Tagged ‘One Night in Tehran’

What You Are NOT

January 8, 2016 2 comments

 During a recent interview about Titus Ray, the main character in my Christian fiction series, I was asked to describe some of his personality traits. By doing so, I came up with some attributes, which point out what Titus is not: He is not an extrovert. He is not a scholar. He is not a family man.

By pinpointing what a person is NOT, a picture emerges about what a person is. The apostle John does this in the Gospel of John. He says, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.” John 1:6-8.

Perhaps the most important attribute about John the Baptist was what he was NOT. He wasn’t the Messiah; He wasn’t the Light; He wasn’t our Savior. He had to reiterate this several times during his ministry. Every time he did so, he was able to tell people who he really was. He was a witness sent to point people to the real Savior, Jesus Christ.

There are other examples in Scripture of what people were NOT: Joseph was not an adulterous slave boy. David was not an intimidated shepherd. Daniel was not a cowered exile. Paul was not a timid follower of Christ.

How would you answer this question, “What are you NOT?”

How you answer that question will enable you to see what you are. The NOT realization of what he was helped John to know his role. He wasn’t the Light, but he was to tell about the Light. Perhaps you’re NOT a Sunday School teacher, but you can be a Sunday School member. Perhaps you’re NOT a teacher of the Bible, but you can read the Bible. Perhaps you’re NOT a prayer warrior, but you can pray.

John was sent by God. “There was a man sent from God.” John 1:6.

John was sent by God to be who he was;  not someone he was NOT. Discover who you are NOT, and you’ll discover who you are.



New Release: Two Days in Caracas, A Titus Ray Thriller

June 17, 2015 1 comment

3 d smallToday I’m announcing the release of the second book in the Titus Ray Thriller Series, Two Days in Caracas.

My first Christian fiction novel, One Night in Tehran, introduced Titus Alan Ray, a CIA intelligence officer, who is brought to faith in Christ after hiding out with a group of Iranian Christians in Tehran, Iran. Their unwavering faith so touched his heart, he was compelled to make his own commitment to Christ, thus beginning a journey more mystifying, yet more rewarding, than any of his previous missions.

In Book 1, Titus tries taking his first “baby steps” in his faith walk when he attempts to pray before a debriefing on his blown mission to Tehran. He fails miserably, but he doesn’t give up. After he learns he’s been targeted by a Hezbollah assassin and arrives in Norman, Oklahoma (no spoilers here, but his visit to Oklahoma was not his choice), he decides it might be a good idea to start reading the Bible. His venture into a Christian bookstore to purchase a Bible is a nerve-wracking experience for this hardened covert officer. This event is followed by his first visit to a church worship service, where he encounters people who want to shake his hand and other strange phenomenon, including a new type of vocabulary he must learn.

In the midst of figuring out what it means to be a follower of Christ, Titus gets involved in a murder, meets a beautiful, local detective—who is also a believer—and tries to evade Ahmed Al-Amin, the Hezbollah assassin who wants to murder him.

In Book 2, Titus Ray, travels from Costa Rica to Venezuela in an effort to stop Ahmed Al-Amin from assassinating a high-profile government official. Along the way, a family crisis jeopardizes his mission, and an Agency division head threatens to destroy his career. As the danger mounts, he’s forced to partner with an untested operative to complete the mission and bring Ahmed to justice.

In this second book, Titus is thrust into several situations where he’s faced with the need to offer forgiveness for past sins. These are gut-wrenching episodes, and he’s not always successful. Then, when he encounters a physically debilitating crisis in the midst of his mission, he reaches out to God to provide the answer and, what happens next, is something many new believers in Christ often experience for themselves.

Because this blog is mostly devoted to insights into God’s Word, here are some of Titus’ own words after reading his Bible one morning during his latest mission.

My self-analysis did little to lighten my mood, so I opened the drawer of the nightstand and pulled out the hotel’s Bible. It fell open to Psalm 42. After reading a few verses, I realized whoever had written the psalm had experienced the same emotions I was having.

He said his soul was downcast, and that’s exactly how I felt.

Unlike me, though, he had the solution.

He advised, “Put your hope in God.”

Feeling foolish because I hadn’t considered this, I bowed my head. (Titus Ray, Two Days in Caracas, Chapter 20).

Two Days in Caracas will release on Amazon on June 26th. The Kindle copy is available now for preorder, and you can order the print copy on June 26th. Many of my readers have said One Night in Tehran is an non-intimidating way of sharing the gospel with unbelievers. I pray Two Days in Caracas will also open up witnessing opportunities, while, at the same time, providing readers with a fast-paced, pulse-racing thriller full of intrigue, romance and suspense.

Link to Two Days in Caracas on Amazon.




Introducing My New Book

August 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Frontcover-for-webThis will be a different kind of blog entry today. In many ways, it will be shamelessly self-serving because I’m announcing the publication of my new book, One Night in Tehran. However, despite that, I ask for your indulgence as I engage in some self-promotion.

Before I introduce you to One Night in Tehran, I feel it’s only fair to warn my regular blog readers that this book is a work of fiction and bears little resemblance—well, none actually—to any devotional writings I occasionally post on this blog. I should also issue another cautionary note to my former Bible study students who might suppose I’ve written a Bible study or a commentary on Scripture.

One Night in Tehran is neither a devotional book nor a book about the Bible. While I’m a strong advocate of reading and studying God’s Word on a daily basis, and I read devotional books regularly, I’m also an ardent fan of fiction books, especially anything in the mystery/thriller genre. My love for such novels began when, as an eleven-year-old, I asked my dad for permission to read one of his library books. It was an espionage novel about the Cold War. From that moment on, I was hooked.

Not surprisingly, my debut novel is a Christian suspense/thriller.

One Night in Tehran introduces a new series of Christian thrillers featuring Titus Ray, a veteran intelligence officer, who is led to the Lord by Iranian Christians, while hiding out in Tehran after a botched CIA operation. You can read the full description of the book here.

Readers of this blog, who are familiar with Norman, Oklahoma, The University of Oklahoma, and Bethel Baptist Church, will feel right at home when they read One Night in Tehran, because each of these places has a predominate footprint in the book. Some of the book’s fictional characters may even bear a passing resemblance to some of my own personal friends and family—but you’ll never know for sure!

Even so, the plot of the book is as relevant as today’s headlines and includes Islamic terrorists, Hezbollah sleeper cells, and suicide bombers. An underlying question running throughout the story is “What happens when a veteran covert intelligence officer becomes a believer?” “How does his conversion affect his lifestyle and future clandestine operations?” Since most of the action occurs in Oklahoma, there’s even a tornado.

Click here, One Night in Tehran: A Titus Ray Thriller, to  purchase One Night in Tehran on Amazon in either print or on a Kindle device. More information and extra details are on my website, where you can also sign up for my newsletter and receive advance notice of the second book in the series, Two Days in Caracas.

You can view my author page on the Goodreads site, and I would gladly welcome you as a friend on my Facebook page here.

After you’ve read the book, if you’re so inclined, please do me the honor of writing a review on Amazon, and, of course, drop me a line anytime at

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