One of the weekly writing contests I sometimes enter is giving us three words to describe our New Year’s resolutions.  If you want to enter here is the link.

Three words is not much. How can I encapsulate my goals for the following year in just three words?

Earn more money? – I would love to be able to tell my wife her responsibilities toward the household income were substantially decreased, or eliminated altogether.

Do God’s will? Pray more deeply? Read Scripture discerningly? – All of these have to do with a desire to serve God and be more intimately involved in His work.

Do not lie? Clean your mind? Purify your heart? – These would reflect my ongoing desire to be a better person, after all, any real improvement in the world begins with our taking personal responsibility for ourselves.

Write more clearly? Write more often? Write for Jesus? – I feel a deep calling to write and especially to Christian writing so its natural this would be a part of it, somehow.

The problem with three words is they limit so much what you can say.  The benefit of just three words is by limiting what you say, it makes you really consider your choices. (Of course, there is another benefit. It makes the goals so generic it’s easier to pretend you are meeting them.)

So here goes

Character, Calling, Accomplishment

Character because everything else is worthless if my integrity is not maintained.

Calling because the activities of life should be ordered after the voice of God in my life; setting priorities and choosing the path.

Accomplishment because in every area of life, benefits do not come from what I start, but from what I finish.

Before I stop let me ask you a question.  Do you know how to accomplish your goals, how to live out your resolutions? One way to do that is to understand the principle of the heart as a storeroom.  If you have not already done so, consider reading my book The Storeroom of the Heart. It will show you how to harness the power of heart to reach your goals in life. It can be purchased anywhere books are sold, ebook or paper. Here is one source



There was only one thing left to do. I reached back behind my head and pressed a button. A wave of dizziness swept over me, but it passed quickly.

This was not the first time I had turned on the Implanted Tactical Operative Assistant, commonly called ITOA, but it was still overwhelming.  Now as a SWAT sniper I could put a bullet into a dime, from 300 yards, with a ricochet. All I have to do is focus on the spot. ITOA works with the massive computational power of my brain, and it can link to any internet capable device for additional data.

I was happy to get it after World War Three started, not the expected nuclear holocaust, but instead a massive global gang war. It started with Russian and Chinese Mafia fighting for the ghettoes of India. But it quickly spread. Smaller gangs no longer exist and five massive illegal crime syndicates were setting the whole world on fire.

The current situation is an all-out attack on the barrio outside of Los Angeles. The Russian Mafia is starving the Crypts financially. No customers leads to no cash flow and another gang is defeated.

Over the next twenty minutes I took out a couple dozen guerillas. I used an existing camera in an atm, and bounced the shots off a steel wrecking ball. One man, the last of his unit, grabbed a hostage. I waited for him to move his head back just a little for a clearer shot.

That was when I noticed his scar. It was just like mine. It was inevitable that sooner or later they would get a hold of ITOA too. I put a bullet through the little computer implant. The girl settled down on her tush crying.

I saw a security camera on the building next door turning toward me. A sinking feeling came over me. It didn’t last long.


This story was prepared for the Trifecta Writing Challenge.

• Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.  (My entry is 317 words)
• You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
• The word itself needs to be included in your response.
• You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
• Only one entry per writer.
• If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
• Trifecta is open to everyone.



1. a long pointed tooth; especially : a horse’s canine
2. an interjection used to express disdain or reproach
3. buttocks (slang)

The Great Appendix War

I was assigned to be Tessa’s constant companion within moments of her conception. She doesn’t know I am here, but her welfare is the only reason for my existence. So I have watched and guarded her for 10 years.

Under the orders of my commander I have prevented accidents, emotional scars, and heart rending disappointments. But also under orders, I have allowed some of these to take place.

Last December 12 was a turning point. My charge had gotten sick a few days earlier. Her parents assumed it was a minor bug. The next day they took her to her doctor, who misdiagnosed the inflamed appendix.

I could have intervened, but I was under orders not too.

They awoke early on the morning of the twelfth to find their child on fire and sluggish. They took her to the ER. Early that morning the appendix had ruptured.

I could have prevented it, but I was under orders. I neglected my ward for a short time. My commander predestined a better opportunity for this family.

During surgery the commander’s enemies tried to hurt the child. One provoked the appendix to release more infection into her. At an appointed hour I dispatched him. Another was sent to create an allergic reaction. I killed him as he passed through the wall.

A few rooms away her parents prayed in their desperation. It was no sallow bargain, they sought the commander in earnest quiet faith.

The time came for new orders. I began squashing the bacteria spreading through her body. I protected her from furious attacks of the enemy. I was careful to bring about a normal recovery.

Tessa’s life has changed in the year since. The repentance of the parents has remodeled the home in subtle ways. One important feature is they linger over meals, talk about life, and pray together. Tessa is being shaped very differently than she would have been without the spiritual warfare of December 12, 2012.


This piece of flash fiction was prepared for The Trifecta Writing Challenge. This week’s prompt is to use the third definition of the word companion



:  one that accompanies another :  comrade, associate; also:  one that keeps company with another


obsolete :  rascal


a :  one that is closely connected with something similar

b :  one employed to live with and serve another




The Reunion

Calvin Hopper packed and headed to Oakland for his annual reunion. He loved the reunion. He hated going back to the old neighborhood.

On the flight he prepared his words. It was his turn to speak again. He wondered if any other fifth and sixth grade boys Sunday school classes had annual reunions. But then again his class was far from normal.

They all stayed at the same hotel, had an informal dinner together that night, and went to church together the next morning. Calvin felt apprehensive. Two brothers and a sister had died on these streets. His mother’s funeral had been in this church.

He and the nine men with him were the only ones he knew who made it out. There were four entrepreneurs, one accountant, a cop, a lawyer, a stock broker, a soldier and Calvin was in marketing. All but one was married with children, and none were divorced.

At church, the old ladies cried to see them again. The pastor gushed at their success and gladly accepted their gifts. Calvin gave a brief testimony, but he saved his notes for later. After the service, the ten survivors went to the graveyard. They gathered around the grave of Brayton Johnston to remember the man who had given them the courage and hope to survive.

Calvin took out his notes, and for the next twenty minutes he described to Brayton what he had done with his life. He thanked the man for the sacrifices that had given them all the opportunity to escape the gangs and violence. Finally, with tears running down his face he recounted how the gang had taken Brayton’s message as an offence.

He finished by quoting John 15:13. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

302 words. Prepared for the Trifecta Writing Challenge. Follow the link if you would like to participate. The prompt this time was the third definition of the word ‘remember.’

Trifecta 102: Routine Patrol

Trifecta Writing Challenge is one of the weekly flash fiction contests I have enjoyed. This week’s prompt word is a fun one. The word has to be used exactly as it is listed below and under the third definition, which is bolded for you. The story has to be between 33 and 333 words. Mine is 323.

CRAFT (noun)

:  skill in planning, making, or executing :  dexterity

a :  an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill <the carpenter’s craft> <the craft of writing plays> <crafts such as pottery, carpentry, and sewing>

b plural :  articles made by craftspeople <a store selling crafts> <a crafts fair>
3 :  skill in deceiving to gain an end <used craft and guile to close the deal>

I must have SciFi on the brain again. Here is a story I thought of last night while I should have been sleeping.


Routine Patrol

Heath serves as an Enforcement Officer for the Border Patrol of the Human Colonial Republic. It’s a lonely existence. His powerful ship is comfortable but very claustrophobic. He’s gotten twitchy from being far out, too long.

His current assignment is to check an uninhabited galaxy, Mysis 9, three days farther out at full warp. Two planets, one outside an asteroid ring and the other inside. Protocol says to start with the farthest from the star working toward center.

While scanning the outer planet his listening device detected a distant percussion. It might be a malfunction. It might be two asteroids bumping into each other. It might also be poachers. He touched his eye to stop a nervous tic.

Approaching the belt, an alarm went off. The debris in the belt was moving in an unnatural way. Another alarm. A small ship had blasted an asteroid with a mining laser. He saw it tractor out the minerals liberated in the explosion. His cockpit was climate controlled; but he was sweating.

Calling for help would alert the poachers to his presence. He was authorized to use deadly force; this was the preferred response. He would do his duty; but his mouth was dry.

He slipped into the asteroid belt. He could approach relatively close and have a better shot by hiding. In the last little bit he clamped hold of a rock and waited for it to spin revealing his quarry while hiding him. He found the craft of his plan reassuring.

Then a green glow passed through the asteroid he was clamped to and through his ship. This scan revealed the mineral content of the rock. Before his mind fully processed what was happening, his ship and the asteroid were shattered by the poacher’s mining laser. His cockpit automatically formed an escape pod, but pods are defenseless.

He felt the tractor grab hold and pull him toward the poacher’s vessel. Heath began trembling violently.