Now that the rough draft is finished, I want to share a one-minute video with some insights I had while writing “Rudiments in Faith.”
I put this new trailer together today for a future project: The Pavfarah Utopia Series. It’ll be my first Christian dystopian science fiction series and I took a different approach with this trailer. Let me know what you think!
Rudiments in Faith Excerpt
The following is a short excerpt from "Rudiments in Faith." This has not been edited yet, so it is subject to change between now and publication. But it will give you an initial impression of this short story and its two main characters. I hope you enjoy it.
Aside from the occasional staleness of the recycled oxygen in the spacious passenger compartment, twenty-five-year-old Carson Smith was enjoying this trip through space to Hofmari Prime. He had found the seats comfortable, the meals and drinks satisfying, and the speed of the vessel more than adequate since he really wasn’t in a hurry to his destination.
His young Kalli bodyguard, Ilyazi, took every opportunity to stand up and pace the cabin like a cornered animal ready to pounce. And when the tall and muscular blue woman wasn’t striding around angrily, she was complaining.
“How far is it to this stupid planet?” she muttered in her raspy voice. “I feel like we’ve been in this crate for days!”
Carson tried to suppress his amusement at her impatience. “We have been aboard for three days. And it will take us another five days to reach Hofmari Prime at this speed, which is optimal for this vessel and our comfort. So, you may as well relax and enjoy what this ‘crate’ has to offer.”
She swirled around and gripped the tops of the seats on either side of the aisle as she glared at Carson, who remained sitting. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you — having me drink your fancy beverages and devour your expensive food, maybe read some classic Republic literature while I’m at it?”
He smiled at her calmly. “You’d enjoy the trip a lot more.”
She narrowed her near-feral gaze and gave him an insincere smile. “No, thank you. Such things would make me soft and fat like you.”
He laughed. If that didn’t upset me yesterday and the day before, why does she think it will work now? he mused to himself. Even if I were slim, she’d still see me as weak because I’m not Kalli. “You’re just jealous,” he smirked.
She snarled at him and sat back down in her seat.
Truthfully, he admired her mix of strength and beauty. She had long white hair that she kept braided. Her skin was a pure, deep blue and her eyes were as white as her hair with dark pupils. She had short dark horns that swept up into sharp tips. And her only blemish was a small scar than separated her left eyebrow in the middle.
He was well acquainted with Kalli culture. That was why he had requested one as his teammate, the bodyguard for this assignment. He’d expected a male but was pleasantly surprised to sign a contract with this female. Despite being loud and rude, she’d been fine company so far.
“Tell me about the race we will be observing on Hofmari Prime,” she demanded as she stood up again and walked to the back of the cabin.
He watched in silent glee as she poured a glass of berry-infused sparkling water for herself then grabbed a ceramic plate and began filling it with cheese cubes and some kind of meat from the large cold storage bin. “They are called the Sekdavi,” he told her.
She tasted some of the cheese and washed it down with her drink as she leaned against one of the seats nonchalantly. “Why are they so special?”
“They are nearly extinct now,” he replied more somberly, brushing his caramel blond bangs away from his eyes with one hand. “ Only a few thousand remain in one or two cities there.”
She apparently wasn’t sure how many thick slices of meat comprised a single serving, so she grabbed four of them, rolled them together, and chewed on them from one end like a celery stick. “Is that why we’re using the time crystal? To go back and see what they were like when they thrived?”
Carson unbuckled his harness and stood up. “Exactly! The Council wants me to observe and record not only what life was like when the Sekdavi dominated the planet’s population, but also how they survived a surprise attack by invading forces nearly four hundred years ago.”
“Didn’t they have a military?” she scoffed.
“They did, but the Sekdavi hibernate for nearly three months during their cold season,” he answered. “The invaders attacked when the Sekdavi should have been hibernating…but they weren’t. And they held on long enough for the Republic to send in troops to repel the invaders.”
“Impressive,” she said respectfully with a nod. Then she gnawed some more on her meat. “Maybe this assignment won’t be so bad after all.”
Carson walked closer to her, took a piece of cheese from her plate, and held it in his hand. “How could it be bad? You’ll be with me.” Then he confidently popped the cheese into his mouth.
She stared daggers at him. “You’ve obviously studied my people’s culture, so I will say this once, historian: stop flirting with me. It’s disgusting.”
He grinned. “Admit it. You like me.”
“I admit that I have a contract with you.” She spat the words at him. “And I am being paid to protect you. Otherwise, I would have cut out your tongue or slit your throat by now.”
Rudiments in Faith (Full Trailer)
This is the first full trailer for “Rudiments in Faith,” a Christian sci-fi time travel short story set in the Republic Chronicles galaxy. Arriving in the near future.
This is a short teaser trailer for a Christian science fiction short story I'm working on called "Rudiments in Faith." It will take place in Joanna White's Republic Chronicles galaxy (the same one Lights In A Dark Sky is set in) and will be part of a time travel-related anthology. This project will be available in the near future, possibly by 2024.
My apologies for not posting to the blog in a few weeks. Without going into all the details, my wife and I have been participating in some Christmas activities with our church that involved music with the Christian band we're in, the church choir, and traveling to another part of Texas for the last three weekends. It's been a lot of work but oh, so rewarding!
Christmas is all about the hope and joy that Jesus Christ's birth meant as the Messiah of the Bible and the Savior of the world. It heralded the sinless life He would lead, the wisdom He would share, the miracles He would perform. Jesus Christ made it possible to redeem humankind back to God through His sacrifice on the cross, His glorious resurrection, and His sending the Holy Ghost as our Comforter.
My wife and I love to do whatever we can to spread this joy and hope with others. The last three weekends have allowed us to do that through song, worship, and speaking with people.
On a different note, right before we went on our most recent trip, I accidentally spilled coffee on my laptop. And there wasn't time to do more than basic spill clean up. I had work that day and we left the next morning pretty early. We got back home this afternoon and by this evening, I had time to properly fix up the laptop. And now I can do a lot more, including the blog.
I will be focusing on edits and re-writes on Queen of the Skies (Book 1 of the Steam & Mettle Series). I got to just over 47000 words on Shadows of Their Hearts (Book 2) and decided it was time to go back and hammer out a few things in Queen of the Skies to ensure consistency.
Also, the Christmas Miracles anthology I'm heading for my publisher Ambassador International is scheduled for an October 2023 release. This will be a collection of short stories from some wonderful authors. I'll tell you more about it as we get closer to the release date.
From my family to yours, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year!
Why is the World So Messed UP?
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
- Isaiah 5:20 (King James Version = KJV)
Most people would probably agree that the world is in trouble, and that it’s been heading in the wrong direction for a while. There are wars and rumors of World War 3. Economies are in bad shape in the United States, Europe, and many other countries. This has caused price increases and resource shortages. Political divisions are at an all-time high, resulting in social unrest and riots which have caused property destruction, financial losses, injuries, and death. Racism has been rearing its ugly head after waiting in the figurative shadows for many years. Simply put, there are many forms of chaos manifesting all over the world. And it’s making a lot of people miserable.
Like many, I have wondered why these things are happening, and there are some basic answers. People have different viewpoints and that causes conflicts. Some people make decisions that have unintended consequences. And there are people who do evil things to benefit themselves and those close to them, no matter the harm it causes to others.
But I believe what is driving all of these problems to occur simultaneously runs deeper. And it starts with something very fundamental. While there have always been cultural changes that come with the rise and fall of civilizations, the passage of time, and the invention of new technologies, one element of society has been a universal building block throughout history: the family.
No matter the nation, political or religious ideology, men and women have chosen each other as mates, married, and had children. They raised their offspring together as a family. It is how the human race has survived and thrived. And while there have always been those who either did not or could not have children, families have continued. It’s human instinct, and it has made sense biologically and emotionally. Even people who could not bear children have sometimes adopted them, raising those children as their own.
But in the last century, new ideologies have emerged which are anti-family (the traditional family). These ideologies have gone by many names, but they have all had similar traits. Each has been designed to cast aside or destroy “old (traditional) ways of thinking” in order to establish new ways of thinking that are often collective in nature (instead of individual-based). These ideologies all claim they will liberate those who embrace them.
Presently, a cultural clash is happening across the world: Progressive ideology is conflicting with traditional beliefs and practices. On the surface, these progressive ideas and concepts can seem appealing. “Social Justice” sounds like a good phrase. Most reasonable people think discrimination is bad and want people to receive justice when bad things happen. No one wants to feel left out or unappreciated.
Progressive ideology recognizes that people just want to do what makes them feel good, special, or recognized. But it goes a step further in pursuit of that goal, suggesting that gender, sexuality, race, and even society itself are social constructs — made through human interaction. They claim that these things do not actually exist, and thus can be changed. They argue that gender, race, sexuality, and society are not based in reality, so we are allowed to change them based on our whims and desires. Therefore, if we believe we are a thing (man, woman, non-binary, gay, straight, cat, wolf, etc.), then that is what we are. This way of thinking purports that reality is subjective to our will. In other words, they believe we make reality what we want it to be. Put another way, we are our own god with the power to shape ourselves and the world around us.
Even church leaders of different faiths and some Christian denominations have been (or are being) won over by progressive ideology. From their various pulpits and even schools and universities, they preach social justice, equity, gay and transgender rights, gender fluidity, and Critical Race Theory. They do it all in the name of spreading love and compassion.
So, what’s the problem with any of that? Isn’t being inclusive good? To a portion of the population of westernized countries, all of this makes sense and seems the way to go.
“The word of the Law is Thelema…Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law…Thou hast no right but to do thy will…Love is the law, love under will…There is no law beyond Do what thou wilt.”
– From Liber AL bel Legis by occultist Aleister Crowley (1904). Crowley founded the religion of Thelema and called himself a prophet.
The above statement is the essential basis of progressive ideology. If it feels good, do it. If you believe it, make it so. It’s all about your needs and developing yourself into the best version of yourself. That’s called narcissism. It’s total self-preoccupation and putting one’s own needs — one’s own identity — ahead of everything and everyone else.
But if this is actual progress and a good thing, why are things getting worse in the world? Why are violence and hateful acts increasing? Why is racism getting worse, not better? Why is the church dividing between traditional and progressive factions? Why don’t they agree? Why are we facing worsening economies, food shortages, and possibly even nuclear war? How is it all related?
It all comes back to one thing, a word many people don’t like: Sin.
Sin is the world’s oldest problem. It affects literally everyone, whether they are committing the sin or the act of sin is being done to them. Some may have heard the word but wonder “What is sin?” Sin is disobedience to what God has commanded.
I realize there are those who do not believe in God. That is their right. God gave us all free will. So, anyone can choose to not believe in God.
People say, “But God is love!” That is also true. All love comes from God because He is its source. However, God is also the first and ultimate judge. His judgment is truly righteous because He has unfathomable patience, wisdom, experience, and yes, love. He considers all the facts and evidence. Throughout the Bible, God has stated what He sees as right and wrong. These are His standard of morality. Choosing to disobey God’s standard of morality is sin.
Most people recognize many sins as wrong, even if they don’t call them “sin.” Things like murder, theft, extortion, and adultery are seen as bad because they are dangerous and hurt others. Societies have created laws to protect their populations and punish the people who hurt others through these acts and others like them.
We will always have this problem because sin is a human state of being. We are all born with a sinful nature. We have that nature because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden. They were created perfect, but when they both sinned, they fell from grace. They became imperfect, and their descendants inherited their sinful nature. Cain killed Abel, committing the first murder. And it has continued to this day. We all have the capacity to do great good or great evil, depending on what choices we make. Humanity exists in a fallen state. Earth is a fallen world.
Going back even further, the Devil was once an angel of light. Lucifer was in a great position of authority in Heaven. But he coveted God’s power and authority. He imagined “I will be like the Most High,” and convincing a third of the angels in heaven to join him. God threw them all out of Heaven for their treachery and disobedience. Now their spirits haunt and trouble the Earth.
As I stated earlier, there are those who profess themselves to be “Progressive Christians.” Know this: there is no division in Christ.
Matthew 12: 22-28 (KJV) reads:
Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.
And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.
But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
There is only one form of Christianity. Either one has the Spirit of Christ within them, or they don’t. A person follows the commandments of Christ, or they don’t. Despite what some people believe, the Bible is not subject to select philosophical interpretation or opinions. The Word of God is not something to be followed or not followed depending on whether the person likes what it has to say.
People either believe Jesus Christ is who He says He was, or they don’t. For a Christian, Jesus Christ is fully God and fully Man. He is One of three personas of God Himself (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost). Jesus Christ was sacrificed for the sins of humanity in order to make a way for people to be reconciled back to God after the sin of Adam and Eve. Jesus Christ has already conquered sin and death. He is the only path to salvation.
John 14:6 (KJV) reads:
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
and John 14: 11-15 (KJV) reads:
Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
I believe it’s no coincidence that the traditional family has come under fire in the last century. If the family is what has caused humanity to thrive, attacking the family is a sure-fire way to disrupt humanity and cause chaos.
Soaring divorce rates have harmed many following the introduction of “no fault divorce” laws in the 1970s. The explosion of divorces since then have soured both adults and children towards marriage. These laws also lessened incentives to marry, especially for men. Having fewer marriages and more divorces further destabilizes families and lowers birth rates. Economic downturns also discourage family planning resulting in lower birth rates.
And now, people are being encouraged to voluntarily sterilize themselves with drugs and surgeries in what is being called “gender-affirming care.” Whether one agrees with the practice or not, this will be the result. There will be fewer births and fewer families.
I should also note that the family has traditionally been the center of faith. It is one reliable way that faith has been inspired and encouraged from generation to generation. Disrupting the family disrupts potential faith.
Life itself has been losing its meaning for many. More and more these days, people are consumed with their individual identities, which is encouraged through entertainment media and social media. And because of increasing political divisions, many have begun de-valuing the lives of others if they have a different viewpoint than theirs.
And then there’s the big one: life within the womb itself. Over sixty million babies’ lives have been ended through abortion since the 1970s. I realize that abortion has been instructed to many as “a woman’s right to choose.” But let’s go ahead and finish that sentence: “It’s a woman’s right to choose to kill her child.” This is not a matter of debate, it is scientific fact. If the unborn child were not already alive, those who perform abortions would not have to kill anything at all. They would not have to attack it and literally tear it to pieces and suck it out of the womb. Moreover, what exactly is being stopped/aborted? A life. What would happen if the unborn child were left alone? Barring any complications, it would grow and develop into a fully formed human baby.
All life, wanted or unwanted, has value. How we handle that life, and how we provide for each other as human beings, is important. We should value everyone. We can have different, even opposing, points of view, and not hate one another.
Consenting adults can believe whatever they want. They can pursue whatever relationships they want. And they can declare themselves a different identity than the one they were born with. However, choices have consequences. People may later regret the choices they make, especially if it permanently alters them physically. They may regret the relationships they pursued or the identities they chose. Their choices may worsen their mental health. Their choices may harm themselves or others. And that’s all within this life, the years we have on Earth.
What about beyond that? For the atheist and agnostic, they may believe that human beings conclude their biological life and simply cease to exist afterwards.
For those with Judeo-Christian beliefs, God will judge humankind one day, starting at the church.
Psalms 9: 7-10 (KJV) reads:
But the LORD shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.
And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
and I Peter 4: 15-19 (KJV) reads:
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
This all comes down to an ancient fight between God and the Devil over the souls of humankind. God has made His intentions known, along with a clear path to salvation (a renewed personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ). But to receive this salvation, people have to turn their backs on their own sins, accept who He is, and seek Him. In the meantime, the Devil does his best to distract us from all God has to offer, which is peace, love, and spiritual freedom through a relationship with Him, both now and throughout eternity.
The Devil uses both the carrot (our worldly interests, focusing on ourselves, lusts and desires, worldly aspirations) and the stick (fears, doubts, self-loathing, hatred, bigotry, and revenge) to divide and conquer humanity. Not making a decision is the same as not choosing Jesus Christ and salvation.
In the end, even Satan will be defeated by God, judged, and cast into the lake of fire. But he wants to take as many souls with him as possible. Hell and Death itself will be thrown into the lake of fire. And those who have not chosen the Lord will have to spend all of eternity separated from His presence. They will never again feel love, peace, or joy — only pain, regret, loneliness, and despair.
As a Christian and an author, I feel compelled to reach out and share this. I care for people too much not to make any effort. I know my words won’t reach everybody. Only God knows what the result of this will be. I know that writing this could have consequences. But there are also consequences for me if I don’t try.
I don’t have all the answers, and I can’t tell anyone what to do. I won’t judge anyone, and there is no one I hate. My hope is that this will give some people something to think about and consider.
In the end, we all have free will. Choose what you think best.
DOUBLE-FEATURE! Brand new promo art by Chris Jackson for Book 2 of the Steam & Mettle (Christian steampunk) Series. AND a title reveal for Book 2: Shadows of Their Hearts
This is not the cover for Book 2. But it is some awesome promotional art by the same artist who did the book covers for the Jordan of Algoran Series.
The character below is Merritt Baxter, the biracial protagonist from Queen of the Skies (Book One).
Parker J. Cole Interviews Allen Steadham and Joanna White (Lights in a Dark Sky)
Here's the audio for the interview that Joanna White and I had with Parker J Cole on the Write Stuff Radio podcast earlier this week! We discussed the Lights in a Dark Sky anthology. The audio was used with permission from Parker J. Cole.
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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