Vetrix (Vetrix Series Book 1)

Two alien species. One threat to Earth.
But who is the real threat and who can be trusted?

Twelve-year-old Flipper didn’t believe in aliens – until he was kidnapped by one.

When he wakes up one morning on the planet Vetrix he is trapped in the midst of an inter-planetary war. As Flipper struggles to survive and find a way back to Earth he discovers he may be a descendant of one of the warring species and that his intervening in the war may be his destiny, if destiny is decided by a computer program.

On Earth, Allison begins having dreams that turn out to be real experiences. When she watches a purple man disappear with her cousin, Flipper, no one believes her. Allison’s best friend Josh agrees to help and together the two sixth-graders begin their own investigation that leads them to the truth behind the Roswell Incident of 1947 and current alien activity on Earth.

As they try to figure out how to expose the secret colony of aliens and their plans to destroy the human race, Allison attempts to use her dreams to locate and rescue Flipper.

Purchase an autographed copy of Vetrix:

Watch the Book Trailer
Read the First Chapter

Book 2: Earth
Book 3: Zentron
Book 4: Sevitan

The original cover from 2017:

Vetrix (Flipper Book 1) by [Bush, Bill, Bush, Blake]

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Does Genealogy in Genesis 5 Demonstrate God’s Mercy?

Genesis 5 provides the first genealogy of the Bible, tracing man’s lineage from Adam to Noah. While genealogies can be dry to read, a closer look at them can shine light on interesting facts.

For instance, Enoch lived 365 years, but he never died. That’s because of a special circumstance. Genesis 5:24 says, “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

Another interesting fact is that people lived a lot longer before the flood. Take Methuselah, the oldest recorded person. He was 969 years old when he died.

For each man listed in the genealogy, the Bible tells us the age they were when they had their son and how many years they lived. If we start with Adam at year zero, we can easily do the math and come up with the chart below.

Obviously, that isn’t how years are marked historically, but that isn’t the point of this exercise. Look once again at Methuselah and note the year he died. 1656.

Now let’s read Genesis 7:6: “Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth.”

What year was the flood? Noah would have turned 600 years old the same year that Methuselah died—1656.

Coincidence? Maybe. It also would be logical to connect Methuselah’s long life as a metaphor for God’s long-suffering mercy prior to judgment. Could this be an example of the point Peter was trying to make in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Could the flood be a demonstration of God’s mercy as well as his judgment?

ScriptureManYear BornYear DiedAge at Death
     
Gen 5:3-5Adam0930930
        5:3-8Seth1301042912
        5:6-11Enosh2351140905
        5:9-14Kenan3251235910
        5:12-17Mahalalel3951290895
        5:15-20Jared4601422962
        5:18-24Enoch622987365
        5:21-27Methuselah6871656969
        5:25-31Lamech8741651777
        5:28-32; 7:6Noah10562006950
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The Origins of Sacrifice

Last week we talked about the protoevangelium of the Bible, the first gospel, found in Genesis 3:15. That was the first promise of a redemptive plan from God. After He curses Adam and Eve in 3:16-19, we see the evidence of God’s instruction on sacrifice.

Genesis 3:21 says, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

It’s logical to assume this is where God teaches Adam and Eve about sacrifice since skins indicate a dead animal was involved in the process. We know that the idea of sacrifice came from God because of Genesis 4:3-7:

“In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD look with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

The Bible doesn’t explain how, but it’s clear from these verses that Cain and Abel knew that God expected sacrifices and they also knew the proper way to sacrifice.

Immediately after the original sin, God not only promised redemption but began showing mankind how He would do it.

Today, we’re still called to sacrifice, but in a different manner.

Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

As we daily sacrifice our will for God’s, let us remember the true purpose of sacrifice—to help us understand God’s love and God’s plan of salvation.

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The Protoevangelium

After Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, God cursed the serpent. Genesis 3:15 states, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

Scholars refer to this verse as the Protoevangelium, or the first gospel, because it’s the first promise in Scripture of the sacrifice Jesus would make on the cross.

Jesus would one day crush Satan’s head by dying for humanity’s sins and rising from the grave, while Satan would bruise Jesus’s heel on the cross.

What’s worthy to note is that this promise of salvation comes even before God curses the woman (Genesis 3:16) and the man (Genesis 3:17-19).

In Ephesians 1:4, Paul writes: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

God is not merely reacting to humanity’s fall; He had a plan in place for our salvation from the beginning.

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Hodgepodge of Bible Information

What is the shortest verse in the Bible?  John 11:35: “Jesus wept.”

What is the longest verse in the Bible?  It depends.

In the original languages, Revelation 20:4 has 58 words while Esther 8:9 has 43 words. So, the longest verse in the Bible in the original languages is Revelation 20:4, while the longest verse in the Bible in English translations is Esther 8:9.

Revelation 20:4 – “I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”

Esther 8:9 – At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. 

If you divide the Old Testament in two, the middle chapter is Job 29.

The middle chapter of the New Testament is Romans 13.

The Bible is the best-selling book of all time. According to the Guinness World Records website (guinnessworldrecords.com), research conducted by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 2021 suggests that the total number probably lies between 5 and 7 billion copies.

If you count Bibles taken from hotel rooms, the Bible is the most shoplifted book of all time.

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April 2024 Storytime Blog Hop

Once again it’s time for a fun adventure. Enjoy my story below, then follow the links to other stories of participating authors in the blog hop.  Leave us comments.  We love hearing from you!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Grim-Training-644x1024.jpg

This is the 14th installment of GRIT’s adventure. To start at the beginning for context, start with Grim Failure.

Working with Stan

Stan growled. Probably because he had to hunt me down at the collection site since I hadn’t met him near administration like noted in the file. I didn’t want to leave until the authorities arrived to care for the baby. Being a few minutes late is a pretty minor offense for me.

Fortunately, a police car arrived the same time Stan did so I did what I did best—apologize.

“Sorry Stan, we started talking and got sidetracked. We’re ready to go.”

Although I hadn’t saved the baby’s life, no need in stirring up suspicion.

Stan glanced toward the crying baby, then toward the pounding on the front door. He scowled but didn’t say anything.

“Fill out your paperwork while I make this delivery. I’ll meet you in administration. We need to talk.”

He gave the dead soul a frightening look. “Let’s go.”

A couple of hours later (they tell you that the paperwork gets easier when you’re full-time but it doesn’t) I sat with Stan in one of the many meeting rooms with the door closed for privacy.

“What you did for Samantha…” For the first time since I had known him, Stan had a hard time talking.

I waited a long time before I spoke, which upset him even more. “I just reacted. I ignored protocol and we were both lucky you showed up. What I did was no big deal.”

“It is a big deal!” He slapped the table, hard, and if he would have done that when he interrogated me I would have told him whatever he wanted to hear.

Then I saw tears, as in more than one. I didn’t realize he was capable of showing emotion; at least not this kind. I wanted to hand him a tissue or scoot the box toward him so he would use one but I thought that would make him angrier so I waited silently.

“Samantha is like a daughter. I practically raised her and now she’s the only family I have left.”

Much to my relief, he took a tissue and dabbed his eyes. “Rules are rules and I don’t much give a rip for them if they hurt someone, especially when that someone is the only person I love. Your actions saved her life and that’s all I care about. I appreciate it and that’s why I told Samantha I would help you. Don’t get any funny business, though. I can help but I can’t protect you from everything. Do you hear what I’m saying?”

I didn’t know if having Stan as my Guardian Angel was a good thing or not. I decided to remain thankful and try not to be so pessimistic. Besides, wasn’t this an opportunity and didn’t I have a little bit of leverage now? Maybe I could use that.

“I’ve always wanted to be a reaper, and while it hasn’t been what I expected, I think I can do a good job. It’s just that…there will be times I’m going to help people. I can’t help myself,” I quickly added when Stan shot me a knowing look.

“Like the baby today?”

So much for my foolproof plan. “You know about that?” I shouldn’t have sounded so surprised.

He tossed a file that slid across the desk and rested perfectly in front of me. “Of course I know what happened.”

The file was on the baby, a girl named Bonnie. She would have frozen to death overnight, alone in the house. In my reaper state I didn’t realize the house’s heater didn’t work.

“Be smart. Cover your butt and mine as best you can. I’ll do what I am able on my end but know that you can still screw up enough to get booted from being a reaper. Frankly, I’d still bet on it,” (there’s the Stan I know) “but Samantha is convinced otherwise. If you ever disappoint or hurt her, Hades won’t be able to protect you.”

GRIT – Part 1
GRIT – Part 2
GRIT – Part 3
GRIT – Part 4
GRIT – Part 5
GRIT – Part 6
GRIT – Part 7
GRIT – Part 8
GRIT – Part 9
GRIT – Part 10
GRIT – Part 11
GRIT – Part 12
GRIT – Part 13

Check out the other stories in the blog hop and leave us comments.

Automatic Transcript–Part 6by Kathrina Gerlach
Possession by Barbara Lund
R=Lessons by T. R. Neff
The Perfect Gift by Gina Fabio
The One That Got Away by James Husum
Sneak Peek: Midlife Ghostwalker by Juneta Key

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Covenant of the New Testament

The word testament means covenant. Thus, the Old Testament means the old covenant.

Jesus explained the new covenant during the last supper, in Matthew 26:27-28, after he broke the bread:

“Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.’”

While instructing the Corinthians about the Lord’s Supper, Paul repeats Jesus’s words. 1 Corinthians 11:25 says:

“In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”

In Hebrew 8, where the author writes extensively about the old and new covenants, he states in verses 6 and 7:

“But in fact, the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.”

The new covenant is what the New Testament is all about.

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New Testament Organization

The 27 books of the New Testament are divided into 4 sections:

  1. The Gospels (4 books, Matthew, Jark, Luke, John)
  2. The Acts of the Apostles (1 book, Acts)
  3. Epistles (21 books, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesian, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John 2 John, 3 John, Jude)
  4. Revelation (1 book, Revelation)
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Biggest and Smallest

What book of the Bible has the most chapters? That distinction goes to the book of Psalms at 150 chapters. The second is the book of Isaiah with 66 chapters.

In fact, the top 13 books in the bible with the most chapters are in the Old Testament. In order, they are:

Psalms (150)
Isaiah (66)
Jeremiah (52)
Genesis (50)
Ezekiel (48)
Job (42)
Exodus (40)
Numbers (36)
2 Chronicles (36)
Deuteronomy (34)
1 Samuel (31)
Proverbs (31)
1 Chronicles (29)

In the New Testament, the two books with the most chapters are Matthew and Acts with 28.

Five books of the Bible have 1 chapter They are Obadiah, Philemon, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude.

You may not be able to read the longest book of the Bible in one day, but you could read the five shortest books in about half an hour.

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Christ has Indeed been Raised

Has God forgiven your sins? How do you know?

Yes, the Bible tells us that Jesus died for our sins, but so what? What makes that true?

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:17: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”

The resurrection is what proves Jesus true.

Lots of people have lived good lives, taught multitudes of people, and some have even performed miracles. But no one else has ever predicted their own resurrection and pulled it off. No one, except Jesus.

Paul makes that clear in verse 20, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead.” 

Because Jesus has risen from the dead, Paul concludes this chapter on the resurrection with verses 55-58:

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Without the resurrection, our sins have not been forgiven. If Jesus has not risen, nothing else matters.

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And then He Appeared

In 1 Corinthians 15:5-8, Paul writes, “and that he (Jesus) appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”

These verses demonstrate that Jesus’s resurrection was not a hoax, a lie, or an hallucination.

Jesus not only appeared to multiple people, he did so on several occasions. While he didn’t stay long—he ascended after forty days (Acts 1:3)—Jesus helped Peter forgive himself, taught the apostles and gave them instructions, and even ate with them.

And maybe most important was that he appeared to so many people.

That’s one of the points that Paul makes in these verses is that most of those who saw Jesus after his resurrection were still alive. In other words, double check his claims. Go ask them. He wasn’t afraid of being fact-checked.

The evidence for the resurrection was there and he pointed his readers straight to it.

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