Jordan's World is now available from Audible as an unabridged audiobook! Narrated by Andrea Koss, the audiobook has a running time of 8 hours and 44 minutes.
LINK: Jordan's World audiobook on Audible
Synopsis: Jordan Lewis and her mother have been abducted and marooned on an alien world.
Taken in by a friendly tribe of natives, Jordan tries her best to adapt to living on this strange planet called Algoran. Jordan becomes a respectable huntress, but she still longs for the life she once knew on Earth.
When she learns the beings who took her may be on the other side of Algoran, she sets out for answers. Joined by three of her fellow hunters, Jordan crosses dangerous terrain, facing perilous creatures and people.
Will Jordan risk death for a chance to return to Earth?
What is God's will for her life on Algoran?
Exploring the life of an ordinary young woman torn from all she's ever known, Jordan's World shows that God reigns over the whole universe, and that consequences can sometimes span solar systems.
America, we do have a race problem...and it’s not what you might think it is.
Last year, I thoroughly covered my understanding about past injustices stemming the country’s slavery and post-slavery days. I stated my support for the non-violent efforts that led to the success of the Civil Rights movement. I shared my perspective as a Caucasian man happily married for nearly twenty-six years to a wonderful African-American woman, and my pride in being the father of three mixed-race children.
I have watched over the last year as the United States has grappled with renewed racial tensions, too many times leading to violence, destruction, and spilled blood. I have seen all kinds of viewpoints, ranging from measured and calm to violent extremism, and everything in-between. I have seen and heard racist rhetoric from surprising sources, some nationally and some closer to home.
I have looked into Critical Race Theory and read or listened to the words of people calling themselves “anti-racists.” And I have seen some disturbing trends with one thing in common: racism is passing itself off as anti-racism.
It’s easy to see.
What am I talking about? We’ll start with anti-Caucasian (or anti-white) sentiment. And while there has been anti-white sentiment in various social circles for decades, it was mostly harmless, just people’s opinions. But then the 2020 race riots happened and anti-white rhetoric jumped to new highs (or lows, depending on your point of view). Books like White Fragility and How To Be An Anti-Racist became best sellers nationwide. People took renewed interest in Critical Race Theory, which not only makes some questionable assumptions, but by its very design does not allow reasoned discussion about its contents. If you question Critical Race Theory’s validity or usefulness, that very action is assumed to be based in racism.
Here’s the problem with that: Critical Race Theory is just that — a theory. Let’s look at the definition of theory, according to the Cambridge Dictionary: “a formal statement of the rules on which a subject of study is based or of ideas that are suggested to explain a fact or event or, more generally, an opinion or explanation.” Theories are ideas. They can be proven, disproven, or even revised later when more data is acquired. No theory is perfect or foolproof. And no theories are beyond question, even if they are designed to be that way. A theory that refuses to be examined is a theory that its authors are trying to protect, acting as if that theory is not strong enough to stand up to scrutiny or debate. That is dishonest intellectualism at its worst.
Too many of the recent “anti-racism” sentiments have been combative, one-sided, and now have evolved a perspective that White People must be trained (or re-educated, a concept disturbingly reminiscent of certain communist regimes throughout the last century) to think or be less of themselves. This is perceived to to somehow balance the scales for past racism, whether theirs or their ancestors or other White people and their ancestors.
Coca-Cola recently received a public backlash for a whistleblower exposing slides from a training session for its employees called “Confronting Racism, with Robin D’Angelo (the author of White Fragility).” The training suggested the white employees should be “less white, less arrogant, less certain, less defensive, less ignorant and more humble.” The training also included “Research shows that by age 3 to 4, children understand that it is better to be white” with no citation to back it up.
Here’s a simple way to debunk this: replace “white” with any other race or ethnicity. It instantly becomes racist as can be. Just because Caucasians are the focus does not negate the racism. Whether of European or any other light-pigmented descent, focusing on Caucasians as a race makes this racist. It is painting with the broadest strokes using colossal assumptions...and it’s wrong.
Anyone can be a racist. There is no “reverse discrimination” or “reverse racism,” there is only racism. Thinking of any race as superior or inferior is racist and wrong. Trying to make anyone of any race think they are superior or inferior to any other race is racist and wrong.
Coca-Cola issued a statement to clarify their position on this training: “Our Better Together global learning curriculum is part of a learning plan to help build an inclusive workplace. It is comprised of a number of short vignettes, each a few minutes long. The training includes access to LinkedIn Learning on a variety of topics, including on diversity, equity and inclusion.”
This disturbed me more than Coca-Cola giving racist training to its employees. LinkedIn is partnering with racists to spread racist ideology to Corporate America and anyone who wants to view it. All in the name of diversity, inclusion, and “combating racism.”
At this point, let me make something crystal clear. There are some tried and true ways to experience diversity, inclusion, and to ultimately defeat racism and prejudice:
When people do the things I just stated above, they don’t ignore someone’s skin color or heritage. They accept and embrace those elements. It becomes part of their world and who they are. No one loses anything — and everyone wins!
These simple truths may sound naive, but they work. I have lived them for over half my life. I don’t see my children as half-black and half-white, I see them as an amazing blend of me and my wife, everything including ethnicity, race, culture and so much more. I didn’t fall in love with my wife because of the color of her skin, but I think she looks amazing. I accept and love all of who she is.
So yes, the United States of America does have a race problem:
Even so, we have the opportunity to change things.
We can choose:
That’s not limited to one race or ethnicity.
We can all do better, every one of us.
Last week, Texas experienced weather unlike any it had seen in the last century. Certainly, it was different from any I'd seen in my lifetime. The entire state, the second largest in the United States, was enveloped by five winter storms in a row — within seven days!
Temperatures which had been in the eighties the week before dropped into single digits, with wind chills below zero. Ice and snow fell as fast as the thermometer readings and then that mess stuck around all week. In fact, we got second and third rounds of ice and snow. Driving became treacherous, then all but impossible.
Worse still, the State's electrical grid, not properly weatherized, was put under tremendous strain. Rolling blackouts became long-lasting power outages happening at the most abysmal time: during sub-freezing temperatures with wind chills so low that they warranted their own weather warnings (even the weather forecasters had never seen a Wind Chill Warning in South Central Texas).
A lot of people lost water, too. Water treatment plants shut off during the power outages, causing some to have to boil their water (if they had the means to do so). Some people had to boil snow to get water.
Our household went without power or heat for twenty-eight hours straight, right when temperatures were dipping to their lowest. We had water, thankfully, even if we didn't have hot water.
It was the uncertainty that was the most stressful. At first, it seemed like we'd only have a couple of days to get through. Power was only supposed to be out from fifteen to sixty minutes, which was way beyond optimistic. We had no idea when power and heat would return.
We had the kids with us and we were all safe. But we had to keep warm, layering our clothes, and covering the living room window with a blanket to keep the cold out. We put perishable food from the freezer and refrigerator into thick bags that we packed in snow on our porch.
Truthfully, there were some tense moments. Conditions worsened outside more than once and we did start to get low on provisions, but we never ran out.
My wife and I had to pray for guidance. And the Lord provided through the kindness of family, friends, and even strangers. Our neighbor even lent us a cooler to help out with keeping our perishables cold. And since the outside temperatures were colder than the freezer anyway, it was the one advantage to the wintery conditions.
My sister-in-law shared an idea with my wife to make a tent in the living room. We didn't have an actual tent, but we pulled all of our chairs and taped brooms and other objects to act as "stakes" and covered them with blankets and sheets (held together by bobby pins). Putting more blankets inside and adding some battery-powered lights, the tent held in heat and provided a cozy space to tell stories, play Uno, chill out or sleep. Our facemasks came in handy when things got really cold, whether inside or outside.
We ate cold sandwiches, cereal, fruit. snacks, and even did some rudimentary heating of already cooked items using an improvised oil lamp and a metal pie pan.
My wife and I went out daily to start up the car to keep it functional. We knew we weren't going anywhere until the ice started melting, but we wanted to make sure the car was available for any emergency if we needed it. Thankfully, we didn't.
Though power and regular internet were out, we used our phones to keep track of the forecast, news, and stay in touch with the outside world. I even did some editing of The Former Things on my laptop, using its fully charged battery while also recharging my phone.
Every day, we prayed. We prayed individually and we prayed together as a family. We appreciated everyone who prayed for us on social media (especially our Facebook friends). So many people were praying for us and the people of Texas, all over the world. It was heartwarming and inspiring.
By Wednesday, the power was back for good and by Thursday, some of the snow and ice had started to melt in places. I risked driving to the local grocery store (H.E.B.) with my oldest son. We had to wait in line in the snow, but it wasn't bad. We made it inside in about forty-five minutes, as H.E.B. was letting fifty people in at a time. There was no produce, little beef and no chicken. But there was turkey and pork, so I got some of that. We found other things we needed by getting off-brand or store brand items. We restocked, for all intents and purposes, and we got back home safely.
Friday night was the last hard freeze, dipping below thirty degrees. Saturday, high temperatures reached into the low sixties and were expected to stay above freezing for the foreseeable future.
The worst may be over, but there are many people still in need and the Texas recovery is just beginning. At least twenty people died from the extreme cold. Tragically, some died or were hospitalized from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning in efforts to stay warm using cars and stoves. There were many dozens of car collisions due to ice and snow. One hundred and thirty-three of those happened in one pile up in Dallas. Another twenty-six car collision happened just a few miles from where we live. And all across the state, there were injuries from slips and falls.
Schools, businesses and residences have suffered tremendous damage from burst pipes, collapsed structures from built up ice and snow, and more.Some people are still without power or water. A lot of us were unable to work and had no paid leave to cover the time we were out. And people who work from home couldn't do so without power. There will be short-term and long-term hurtles ahead.
Please continue praying for the people of Texas. We need your prayers. They already made a real difference this week and they surely will in the days and months to come.
"The Fate of Transport 80-14" by Allen Steadham is a short story which is part of INTO THE UNKNOWN: An Ambassador International Science Fiction Anthology. The anthology is scheduled for release later in 2021.
The entire Jordan of Algoran series has now been reviewed on the Readers' Favorite website over the course of the last two years — and each book has received a five-star review! I'm very proud of that and wanted to share it with you.
Please read the reviews at the links below:
Jordan's World (Book 1)
Jordan's Arrow (Book 2)
Jordan's Deliverance (Book 3)
This is a book trailer for my Christian dystopian science fiction short story called "Singularity of Purpose." I wrote this in January 2019. It is the introduction to a future series.
Every author has themes that run throughout their books. Some choose political themes, others choose more down-to-Earth themes like coming-of-age, the hero's journey or overcoming adversity. As a Christian author, I have themes that run through all my novels as well.
THEME 1: CHRIST IS ALWAYS THE ANSWER
Whether in Mindfire or the Jordan of Algoran series, the protagonists face incredible challenges and hurtles to overcome. Things look bleak, but hope arises in turning to Jesus Christ and submitting to God's will.
I have been happy to present this theme because it works in real life, too. We all face difficulties and we don't always have the means to overcome things on our own. We may have financial or medical problems or we may be lonely or depressed. We're human, so we have to deal with each day as it comes.
But we don't have to deal with it alone. We may be separated from loved ones by time and distance, but God is everywhere. And we can have His help. All we have to do is turn to our Savior, Jesus Christ. We don't have to say much or even talk out loud. All we have to do is think of Jesus and say or think "Jesus, please help me!"
Hebrews 4: 14-16 (King James Version) reads:
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
THEME 2: ADOPTION
Leia Hamilton, the lead protagonist in Mindfire, is adopted by her father's wife. Sue Hamilton helped raise Leia since birth and has developed a deep bond with her adoptive daughter.
In the Jordan of Algoran series, Jordan and her mother were adopted into the Mokta tribe after they were abducted to Algoran and marooned there. They had to learn the language and culture from alien beings on another planet. But they were accepted and even willingly assimilated into that community. The tribe's culture and people became an integral part of their lives.
I support adoption. And while I have not personally adopted or fostered any children, I think it is wonderful. It takes a special kind of loving heart to want to care for others and bring them into their home.
The Bible speaks of literal and spiritual adoption.
Romans 8: 15-18 (KJV) reads:
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
THEME 3: TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE
I believe in traditional marriage between a biological man and a biological woman. I recognize that the law allows for other forms of marriage. And I harbor no negativity towards anyone in any form of marriage. But God created marriage. Holy Matrimony is something only He can define.
Genesis 2: 20-24 (KJV) reads:
And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
In Mark 10: 6-9 (KJV), Jesus said:
But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
THEME 4: PRO-LIFE
My books will always be Pro-Life. I believe life is precious because all life was created by God. This is one of the reasons I support adoption and foster care. Through the Bible, God has said a lot about LIFE, even in the womb.
Jeremiah 1: 4-5 (KJV) reads:
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Psalms 127: 3 (KJV) reads:
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
John 1: 1-4 (KJV) reads:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Genesis 25: 20-24 (KJV) reads:
And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
In Mindfire, Leia was born because of her father's efforts to convince her biological mother to continue the pregnancy and give birth to her. He then raised Leia to adulthood with his wife, Sue. Upon learning all this, Leia is profoundly affected.
I have other minor themes that also weave through my stories, but the ones I highlighted here are the main ones. And these are the four that will likely find their way into my future works. In my opinion, these are what that can make a difference in people's lives.
About the author
Allen Steadham is a nondenominational Christian. Happily interracially married since 1995 and the proud father of two sons and a daughter. He and his wife have been in the same Christian band since 1997. He plays electric bass, she plays strings, they both sing. It's all good.
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