Pull up a chair, let me pour you a hot cup of tea and let's get to know each other. I am the author of a fantasy/fiction love story called The Victor but I also write stories for other people as gifts.

They are wish fulfillment's and the person for whom they are written is the star of their story.

If you would like your own story, please email me at: thevictorbook@sbcglobal.net.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Book Signing at Barnes & Noble in my new Medieval Outfit

This was my third signing at this particular Barnes and Noble and I have to say it’s my favorite bookstore! The manager there is so wonderful and treats me like gold.

Unlike most authors I truly love to do book signings. I love to meet new people and chat with them whether or not they buy a book. Today was a very good day. Twenty-three books in 3 hours but what was the nicest thing was getting to meet so many friendly faces and the families that came with them. So a big THANK YOU to each of you who posed for a photo with me.

It was so nice to meet each and every one of you and I hope to hear back from you after you have read The Victor! Please feel free to email me anytime.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sword of the Spirit

"I am a native Michigander; have lived in Michigan all of my life. I grew up in a home headed by my mother and grandmother. My parents were divorced before I was born, and I did not have a father figure of any kind. I accepted Jesus as my Savior in 1987; subsequently turned my back and went back into the world. I returned to Him in 2001 and will not be going back. Returning to the Lord reminded me of the joy I had been missing. This time, I felt like Peter, who said, when Jesus asked His Twelve Disciples in John 6:67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." I am married to the most gentle and wonderful man in the world, Fred, and am the ‘mother’ of two amazing English Cocker Spaniels, Toby (born in 1995) and Shelby (born in 2004, a year before our wedding date!). I enjoy reading, movies, music, marathons, traveling, serving on the Video Tech Team and as a Women’s Ministry Life Group Leader at church and blogging at http://andrealschultz.blogspot.com.

My wish is to be able to put the past behind and live the rest of my life for His glory."
Andrea was dreaming...or so she assumed…for suddenly she found herself standing, in of all places, a blacksmith’s shop and an ancient one at that. She stood and watched in fascination as he worked and slowly became aware that she was not standing there alone. She looked to her side and then up…up…up to find a ten foot tall, incredibly gorgeous angel standing next to her. He didn’t exactly look like an angel…he had no wings and no flowing white robes but someone she knew…he was definitely an angel. Her angel. Her guardian angel. He looked down upon her with eyes full of love and affection and then silently directed her attention back to the smithy.

The large burly man was sweating profusely and hammering away with his hammer and tongs upon a long metal object. Andrea could feel the heat from the furnace but when the Blacksmith plunged the metal shaft into the heart of it, she felt as though it was she. Tears sprung to her eyes and she found herself unable to breath until once again he withdrew the metal and began pounding away on it again, flipping it over and over, tempering it relentlessly. Now she could feel each stroke of the hammer, it didn’t exactly hurt but every time the hammer fell, she sensed it. She began to panic when she saw him readying to plunge the metal again into the white hot fire and the angel put his arm about her. This time she felt only warmth. Slowly she began to comprehend…she was the metal!

At that instant, the blacksmith looked up and straight at her. While his exterior was large, burly and muscular (with rivulets of sweat pouring down him) there was no mistaking his eyes! A tingle rushed up her spine.

Several more hours passed as he worked the metal, alternating between holding it to the fire, beating it down, plunging into the water and repeating the process over and over again. Finally it was done and when he had finished it was a thing of beauty. He had affixed a magnificent hilt bestudded with gemstones and gilded with gold to the end and upon the flat of the blade he had etched a glorious design. Then he carefully wrapped it in a cloth, picked up another shaft of metal about the same size and walked out of the smithy. Andrea and her angel followed along afterwards, walking just behind him as he wove his way up a winding road to a magnificent castle upon a hill. No one seemed to take notice of any of them and he continued walking, crossing through the main entrance and finally into a glorious throne room that no words could describe. Andrea felt herself begin to tremble. Even the touch of her angel’s hand upon her shoulder couldn’t quiet her tremors. Except for the King who sat upon the throne and two knights upon either side, the throne room was empty. The blacksmith knelt upon one knee before him and presented both the tempered sword and the unworked shaft of steel to the King.

He lifted both in his hands then handed one to each of the knights upon either side of him. With a quick bow, they took up the sword and shaft and steel and began to circle each other, moving away from the throne, Andrea and her angel. It was over in seconds. The very first blow shattered the untempered steel into shards which flew in all directions. The pieces passed right through Andrea and her angel as if they weren’t even there.

The knight returned the gorgeous sword to the King with a bow, who held it aloft in his hands and admired its’ beauty. As he turned it this way and that, his smile broadened and with a nod to the worthy blacksmith, he laid it upon his knees.

“The workmanship is exquisite!” said the King to the blacksmith approvingly.

“But what of the other sword, your majesty?” asked the Blacksmith, acting as though the shards were not scattered about his feet.

“Useless.” Replied the King. “Did you not see how it could not bear up under pressure, how it shattered at the least insult? It was not tempered in the fire nor by the forge, therefore it is useless.”

Upon these words the King looked directly at Andrea and beckoned her forward. With her knees knocking, she stepped slowly forward, irresistibly drawn to Him despite her fear. She stood only inches before him and felt his arms go about her in a fatherly embrace.

“You resent and wish to forget the years of your tempering, do you not my daughter?” He said, his eyes kind and understanding. Andrea nodded, her emotions welling up. Her chin fell upon her chest and her shoulders began to heave. Pent up years of hurt, embarrassment and pain welled up inside of her and bubbled over like a gushing fountain. The King’s other arm went about her and he held her close as she sobbed and wailed until she felt cleansed inside and out. His hands then went up to cup her cheeks and his wonderful, penetrating eyes searched those of her own most deeply.

“I know every pain,” He whispered softly. “I have experienced every sorrow right beside you,” Andrea looked at him and suddenly it was the King and it wasn’t. It was the blacksmith and the King and upon his body were the bruises that he had shared with her and also taken for her.

“Only the finely tempered steel is worthy to serve in the army of the King.” He whispered, bending forward and placing a tender kiss between her eyebrows. “Go in peace, my daughter, and never resent nor regret the tempering of thy spirit.”

With those words Andrea suddenly found herself sitting up in her bed staring at the nightstand clock which read 3:00am. Had it really all been only a dream? Suddenly she got the distinct impression someone was grinning at her. She turned her head and practically screamed aloud; almost waking Fred up. Next to her bedside stood her angel and this time he had his wings on and his glowing white robes.

He started dissolving like so much sugar in a cup of hot tea.

“Wait!” hissed Andrea, reaching for him. “At least tell me your name!”

“Rupert!” he responded, solidifying just a bit. “And, yes, I have always been by your side, since the moment you were born.”

“Always?” breathed Andrea feeling both blessed and disappointed at the same time. “Then…why…?” The unspoken insinuation hung in the air, despite everything she had just experienced. Rupert bent down and cupped her cheek in his hand, reminding her again of the King/Blacksmith.

“There are many things I did protect you from, my little one,” he whispered, his eyes full of love and compassion for her, “but you will never know of them and that is as it should be. Let it be sufficient to know that all you have gone through has made you the child of God you are today, a finely tempered sword in the hand of the eternal King!”

Finally it sunk in and Andrea bowed her head in submission. Before he faded away from her eyesight she felt his kiss upon her bowed head.

“We are with you always,” came his faint voice like a sigh upon the wind and with that, Andrea sunk back into a peaceful sleep; her heart much more at peace than it had been in many years.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Clay in the Potter's Hands

"The story below was requested by Donna's close friend, Marian. Donna is currently in ICU on a ventilator and quite depressed.  She is an artist, very bright, outgoing, and very creative.  She has had a difficult life involving divorce and has a son in his 20's who has a hard time with her chronic illness issues. Donna has severe osteoporosis from steoid use in treating her allergies, asthma and lung conditions. She is in her early 50s.   She also has alot of pain due to osteoarthritis/osteoporosis and sequelae. I think her dream would be to have shop when she could work as an artist and sell her artwork/crafts. She draws/paints beautifully and is incredibly creative with decorating and crafts. She makes her own greeting cards when she feels up to it."

The sound of the respirator filled Donna’s ears morning, noon, and all night making it difficult to sleep well. Her chest hurt, actually her entire body hurt and life looked very, very bleak and hopeless.

Donna glanced out her door at the nearby nurse’s station, wishing she could trade places with any of the people she saw standing there instead of having to be tethered to a machine simply to breath. How she longed to be free of her chronic illnesses and to just live and be creative with the gifts God had given her.

It seemed like her life was in a wasteland of limbo and she was worried about her son who had had to put up with a mom who, through no fault of her own, had been chronically ill with respiratory issues most of his life.

Now all the medication she had taken to help her in the short term was taking a toll on her body in the long term.

A single hot tear of frustration rolled down her cheek, instantly dried by the air of the ventilation mask. At that moment she felt a gentle hand brush her cheek and remove the mask. For an instant she panicked, knowing that the removal of the mask spelled big trouble but when she looked up to see who had removed it, her heart nearly stopped. It couldn’t be. Was she dreaming? Did she just die?

The figure half sitting on her hospital bed smiled at her and that smile sent waves of glorious, intense love flowing over her like a mighty river. His eyes gazed upon her with a brilliance of pure, unadulterated love and total acceptance.

“Take my hand, Donna,” said the Savior, reaching for hers. She didn’t think twice but laid her small cold hand inside that of her Redeemer’s. It was warm and the touch of his hand upon hers sent a thrill coursing up her spine. “Come with me,” he said, standing. Donna stood, unable to tear her eyes away from his face, drowning in the pulsating waves of love that flowed outwards from Him and surrounded her in a warm cocoon.

Suddenly she found herself in a different place. She was in an art studio – a studio that made her pea green with envy for it was everything she had always imagined for herself were she healthy and rich enough to have it. It was filled with glorious light and had everything an artist would ever want or need.

“This is all for you,” said the Lord, putting his arm about her shoulders and turning her about so she could see everything.

“Lord,” said Donna, totally confused. “Did I just die? Am I in heaven?”

“No,” He smiled at her. “This is just a little vacation.” He gestured to all the art supplies. “Enjoy yourself and make something for Me.” He said, giving her a wink. In that instant He disappeared. Donna stood in slack jawed amazement and regarded her surroundings again, going from drafting table and then from shelf to shelf to inspect everything more closely. Outside birds sang and the breeze smelled of honeysuckle and orange blossoms. She suddenly jumped up and down in glee, rubbing her hands together. She felt great! No pain, no difficulty breathing, no aches! She had never felt so physically free in all her life! She got out the acrylic paints and a blank canvass and proceeded to paint something beautiful for her wonderful Lord. She soon lost herself in her work and painted with gusto.

After what seemed hours she paused and stepped back to see what her hands and wrought and frowned. This is not what she had been trying to paint! The colors were all different than what she had used and the painting made absolutely no sense. It looked an angry child had taken a bunch of finger paints and used every color there was until it all blended into one large blackish/greenish mess. She just couldn’t figure out what had happened! She set the canvass aside; there was no way she was going to give that as her gift to her Savior! It had turned out hideous!

Perhaps a different medium? She went to the cabinet and found stamping supplies, a heat gun, glitter, ink pens and embossing powders. She would do an elaborate Valentine card to Jesus to tell Him how much she loved Him!

She sat down at a different table and worked meticulously. She didn’t want to over do it and make it look messy and cluttered and she wanted it to express her heart of gratitude for this respite away from her sickbed in the hospital. Hours later, when she felt it was perfect, she looked upon it and cried aloud in pain and disappointment. It was hideous!! What was wrong with her? Nothing she put her hands to do to make for Him was turning out right!

Donna felt like crying with frustration. This surely wasn’t heaven! Heaven was not supposed to be a place of frustration! She looked around the room again.

She would try one last time to make something lovely and meaningful for Him.

She found a potter’s wheel and a lump of clay on it. She had never worked with clay before but since nothing had turned out right in the mediums she was good at, perhaps this time would be the charm.

She put on an apron, sat on the stool before the gently spinning wheel and began to experiment. First she tried a bowl but it came out lopsided. Then she tried a vase but her hand bumped the clay just as she had it almost the way she wanted and the entire thing collapsed into a misshapen mess. Donna was frustrated beyond belief and so disappointed with herself. Somehow she knew the time was quickly approaching when Jesus would return and she had achieved nothing but making a mess of everything she had tried to make Him. Her head hung low with shame and she began to sob hot angry tears of frustration and grief.

“Do not weep, my beloved,” said a gentle voice behind her. Donna half-jumped out of her skin in surprise but was instantly calmed as His arms circled about her and lifted the lumpy misshapen object from the Potter’s wheel to admire it.

“I’m so sorry, Lord!” she said, trying not to sound like a whiny baby. “I tried so hard to make you something beautiful because I love You so much and nothing came out right!”

“I do not know what you mean!” Jesus replied, his eyes looking at her with a knowing smile. “It’s absolutely lovely!” Donna looked from His face to the clay back to His then did a double take. In His hands the clay had become an exquisite long-necked urn with swan-neck handle from which to pour water from. Donna’s mouth hung open…not sure what to say. Jesus turned and went to where her painting sat on the easel, covered with a cloth to hide it’s ugliness. He threw back the cover and admired it with a great big smile. It was a lovely pastoral scene of sheep grazing peacefully in a flower bedecked field under a cloudless sky. “Beautiful!” He said, turning about to smile upon her. He then crossed to the drafting table and lifted the large Valentine card she had made for him. He read her words in silence, closed His eyes in sheer delight and then gave her such a grateful smile it took her breath away.

Donna did not understand what was happening at all! Jesus again reached out his hand to hers and she walked forward into His warm embrace.

Suddenly they were back in her hospital room and He was again sitting on her bed.

Lord, she thought in her head since she couldn’t speak with the ventilator over her mouth, this was a lesson of some kind for me, wasn’t it?

Yes, He nodded, holding both of her hands in His. Even though you think what you created as a gift for Me was a mess, because it was made with love, it was exquisite in My eyes. Now let us take your life…do you think your life is a mess?

Donna hung her head, nodding, feeling deeply again the depression and hopelessness that had been her companion for so many years.

In My eyes you are perfect! Gorgeous. Exquisite! He said, his silent words piercing her dark heart like a beam of sunlight. You are the clay in My hands and though the way I fashion you may seen harsh and ugly, it is beautiful in My sight. I am making of you a heavenly vessel. You may think you have become useless and decrepit but I see you as gold in the refining fire of my love. It isn’t pleasant and it doesn’t feel fair but when you come out on the other end, you will be My treasure. Can you now see what measure of trust I have placed in you to allow you to endure so much for Me?

For you, Lord? Donna responded. But I thought that this was all just bad luck and living in a sick sinful world. I could do so much more for You if only I weren’t sick all the time!

But you already do as much for Me as I would ever want! Said the Savior, cupping her cheek in His hand. Despite all the pain and all the suffering, you still demonstrate child like trust in Me. How could I want anything more than that?

Donna had no come back for that. Suddenly a nurse entered the room to check on her. She took no notice of the Savior sitting on the bed but before leaving, Jesus whispered something only she seemed to hear and she tucked the covers around Donna’s perpetually cold feet and legs and then paused to bow her head and offer a silent prayer before leaving the room again.

Did you give her the idea to do that, Lord?

Yes, of course! Came His gentle response. Every act of kindness, every thoughtful gesture, every visitor who comes to see You to offer their love and encouragement is my personal emissary so that you will know that I am acutely aware of you at every moment of every day. I will send them to you now and then as a gentle reminder of My eternal love and care for you. While I may allow you to have suffering in this life, it cannot be compared to the glory that awaits you in the next. Continue to trust in Me, beloved. I will never fail thee nor forsake thee and when this brief life on earth is over, that art studio you visited today will be waiting for you.

With those words of encouragement branding themselves upon her soul, Donna fell into a peaceful sleep, feeling as though her Savior’s arms were wrapped about her like a warm blanket with His warm cheek next to hers.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Butterfly Kisses

My daughter, Violet, was born 8/6/75. She was beautiful. We spent most of our time together.  She was very smart in school,good grades and she was in nursing school the last two years of high school.She was my best friend. 

She got married on Valintines day 1993 and died March 31 1993.  She wasnt 18 yet but told me she always wanted to marry on Valentines day and didn't want to wait for another year after she turned 18 in August. So I signed the papers she needed to marry. She and her husband were very happy for the final month of her life. They had bought our house in Oak Hill and we was still there waiting for our home in Jackson to be ready. I was there when she passed.  She had come home the night before and talked with me.  I always waited up for her to come home.She worked at a nursing home as a nurse aide, and she said she was hungery and then she would go to bed, her husband had fell asleep on the couch,she didnt wake him. The next morning my husband came to me and said her husband couldn't wake Violet up for school.  She had 10 more days to go.She was on the floor beside the bed (she would sometimes lay on the floor if her back hurt).  When I got hold of her leg to shake her she was cold.  I gave mouth to mouth and screamed call 911!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But my baby was gone. 

After 3 long months the doctors could find no reason for my daughter's passing. So I will never know why.      I used to pack her around on my hip until she was 6 or 7. She was small and I loved holding her. 

She was beautiful, kind, smart and taken way to soon from this earth.I miss her dearly, I will for as long as I live. I pray the good Lord reunites us one glorious day.

Violet approached the Savior, her heart full with the need to ask something of Him. Although she had been exulting in the joys of Heaven for what seemed like only moments, she somehow knew that significant time on earth had passed and that a major milestone was approaching.

He turned and gazed upon her with His wondrous eyes of love and smiled. His eyes and smile never ceased to move her soul deeply. She could feel the love pouring forth from Him as if she were the only soul in all of heaven and as though He had eyes for no one but her.

“Come here, beloved.” He said, holding out his arms to her. Violet ran forward and threw herself into His embrace.

“Oh Master!” she said, her heart bursting with joy at His touch.

“I know why you are here,” He said, stroking her hair, his voice soft in her ear. “I have been expecting your visit.”

“It has been almost 17 years on earth, Master, would it be alright if I visited just this once? It would mean so much to her!”

The Savior drew back and looked down upon her with infinite compassion. “Just this once, beloved,” He agreed.

Upon the utterance of His words, Violet found herself standing in the familiar kitchen of her mother’s home. It was late evening and Donna was standing at the sink doing the dishes when suddenly her shoulders slumped in abject sorrow. Her head bowed, heavy with the all too familiar grief. Although time had softened the pain slightly, she still suffered in silence the knawing ache of sorrow and longing; she missed her daughter so.

Violet’s soul clenched with sympathy for her mom. If only she knew! If only she could but experience just a moment, just a second of what heaven was really like and know how soon they would be reunited when all her tears would be brushed gently away by the Master’s own hand!

Violet slipped her arms about her mother’s waist and laid her head upon her shoulder.

“It’s okay, mommy,” she said. “Don’t cry!”

So gentle was the embrace, so soft was her voice that it took Donna a moment to even realize that she was not alone anymore. For a moment she was taken back in time to a season of her life when her daughter’s love filled her world with sunshine.

She twirled around and stared in shock and unbridled joy.

“VIOLET!” she shrieked, dropping the dish in her hands onto the floor. Her arms flew about her daughter and the tears she had swallowed down for almost 17 years flowed down like a cleansing river.  Violet stood there, content to let her mom vent her sorrow; knowing the tears would bring healing. She rocked her gently back and forth and cooed soothingly in her ear as if she were the mom and Donna were the child, patting and rubbing her back. In a few minutes Donna quieted down and she stepped back to let her eyes drink their fill of her long-missed daughter.

Violet smiled at her; a smile of pure radiant joy. “Don’t cry for me anymore, mommy,” she said, plucking a kleenx from a nearby box and dabbing at her mom’s eyes. “I am SO HAPPY in heaven! You just have no idea how incredible it is! Our Savior’s peace and overwhelming love permeates every fiber of your being there!”

“How…what…are you real? Am I dreaming all this?” choked Donna, clutching her daughter’s hands; never wanting to let go. She was more beautiful than she remembered and glowing with a soft light that surrounded every inch of her.

Violet smiled. “No, mom, this is not a dream. I asked the Master for permission to pay you one visit before we are reunited in heaven together. I have waited for this moment since the day I came home!”

“Home?” Donna repeated, not understanding.

“Yes, our heavenly home.” Violet clarified. “Now, I get to spend an entire day with you, what would you like to do?”

Donna was at a complete loss for words or ideas. One day? That was it? Shopping? NO! Eating out? Another dumb idea. Earthly food probably tasted like dirt compared to what Violet was getting in heaven…HEAVEN FOR GOODNESS SAKE!

“Let’s just sit here and talk!” suggested Violet.

Donna nodded dumbly and allowed her daughter to lead her out the front door to the porch swing. They sat together side by side and rocked. Violet laid her head on her mom’s shoulder while hugging Donna's arm against herself.

Donna closed her eyes and listened to the music of Violet’s voice as she talked on and on about being in the presence of their Lord and all the famous people in the bible as best she could in human terms.

As she spoke, Donna felt every hurt, every wound dissolve away and thoroughly heal from the inside out as if every syllable were a balm sent straight from heaven. The ache she had borne since the day she had seen her daughter’s lifeless body on the floor disappeared for here she was; more beautiful than ever and telling her about the wonders of heaven.

Exquisite peace flowed over her soul like a cool river filling her soul until she felt she would burst with joy. What a precious gift the Lord had given her in this beautiful girl; however brief on earth; she knew now they would have each other for eternity and for the first time since that awful day, eternity seemed more real than life here on earth.

Donna suddenly opened her eyes when she realized that Violet had stopped speaking. Hours had passed in what had only seemed like a few minutes.

“Mommy,” she said, gently removing her arm. “It’s time for me to go but I have one last gift for you before I do.”

Despite her disappointment Donna did not feel sad. She smiled at her beautiful Violet, wondering what could possibly be any better than the day they had just spent together in each other’s company. Violet grinned at her in a delighted, mischievous way and clapped her hands together, just once.

Suddenly a cloud of butterflies flew up and surrounded them both; all different colors and sizes. They whirled about, alighting then taking flight again while mother and daughter gasped and laughed in sheer delight. Then as Donna watched, utterly charmed, the butterflies began to rise higher and higher in a spiral with Violet floating upwards with them, waving her goodbyes with a magnificent smile.

“I’ll see you soon, mommy!” she called, her voice as clear as a bell. “Every time you see a butterfly from now on, just know that it’s me blowing kisses to you! Don’t forget!”

“I won’t, dearest one,” breathed Donna, clutching her now whole and healed heart with joy and gratitude. “I love you!”

“…and I love you!” came her last words on the soft summer wind.

Wish Fulfillment Stories