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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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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Jesus Died and Rose According to the Scriptures

1 Corinthains 15 deals with the core of our faith and our focus for the next three weeks, Jesus’s resurrection.

In verses 3-4, Paul writes, “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,”

This isn’t the only time the New Testament claims that all of the Old Testament spoke of Jesus.

John 1:45 addresses the beginning of Jesus’s ministry: “Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to two disciples in Luke 24:27: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he (Jesus) explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”

Later, the writer of Hebrews quoted Psalm 40 in Hebrews 10:5-7: “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: ‘…Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll…’”

You won’t read far in the Old Testament without seeing clues to Jesus, if you know what you’re looking for.

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The Day the Sun Stood Still

Springing forward and falling back give us a sense that something about the sun’s rotation has changed when actually the only thing different is our routine.

For a real example of the sun doing something miraculous, we don’t have to look any further than the Bible.

In Joshua 10, Joshua and the Israelites are early in their campaign from leaving the desert wanderings to take over and occupy the promised land.

Five kings joined forces and set up around Gibeon, an ally of the Israelites. God told Joshua not to be afraid of the kings because He will give them victory. After marching all night, Joshua and the Israelite army surprised the kings, which brings us to verse ten:

10 The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 

11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the Lord hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

12 On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”

13 So the sun stood still,
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.

14 There has never been a day like it before or since

We can adjust our clocks but only God can change time.

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Prescription vs Description – an Introduction

Something that’s easy to mix up when reading the Bible is prescribing descriptions. What do I mean by that?

A description is simply telling us what happened. Many passages in the Bible are describing an action or event but not meant for us to replicate it.

For example, in Genesis 9, Noah planted a vineyard, drank some wine, and got drunk. If we read that as a prescription, we might conclude that God wants us to plant a vineyard and get drunk. After all, Genesis 6:8 tells that, “Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.”

We know God doesn’t want us to imitate Noah on this occasion because in the New Testament we have a clear prescription, or command, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery.”

Sometimes descriptions can be used to demonstrate prescriptions. In Genesis 39, Joshua ran away out of the house when Potifar’s wife tried to seduce him. From the story, we might conclude that he shouldn’t have left because he ended up being falsely accused of attacking Potifar’s wife and thrown into jail.

Pairing the description of the story with the description (command) found in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee from sexual immorality,” helps clarify the story. Now we can rightly conclude that Joshua’s act was godly even though he suffered greatly because of it.

These are two clear examples of right and wrong actions that would be hard to misinterpret. Later, we’ll look at other descriptions that can, and do, get misunderstood as prescriptions.

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February 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 13th installment of GRIT’s adventure. To start at the beginning for context, start with Grim Failure.

First Real Assignment

They weren’t kidding when they said to report to administration immediately following my hearing. I barely managed to read the details and still make it to my assignment on time. I really didn’t want to start off my regular gig as a reaper by missing my first soul. Though truth be told, arriving on time didn’t guarantee anything with my record.

I made it, though the scene turned my stomach. An older man, several days unshaven, lay on the couch in a dark room, barely breathing. His eyes were wide and empty and his mouth opened like he was stunned. The room was filthy, littered with trash, crawling with bugs. His cell phone buzzed on the coffee table, just out of his reach. Beside it sat several needles. A rubber band still wrapped his arm and a red puncture displayed his last hit. I glanced in his file and confirmed that his death was due to an overdose.

That’s why administration had assigned me this particular victim. I couldn’t intervene; couldn’t do anything to save him, and even if I could have, I didn’t have time. Within seconds his body stopped breathing and his soul stood before me, not at all shocked by his predicament.

As if it knew what had happened, a baby began to babble from another room. I looked at the dead man, wide eyed, and read the shame on his face.

“You here for me.”

It wasn’t a question but I nodded, then frantically scanned the file and let out a sigh of relief when I didn’t see a mention of the baby. There was only one death today. The baby would live.

“Can you help?”

“No. you’re dead and there’s nothing I can do but deliver your soul for judgment.”

“I mean the kid.” He pointed to the room where the baby’s talk turned to crying.

“He…she…”

“She,” the dead man confirmed, his face full of guilt.

“She’s not going to die,” I said, thankful for the knowledge she would live because I wanted to help. “Someone will find and take care of her.”

“You don’t understand.” He paused long enough I thought I was supposed to understand from his statement alone. He finally continued, his voice full of remorse. “I stole the girl a few hours ago. I was going to sell her for a hefty payday. If you don’t do something they’ll be here soon to traffic her. Now that I’m not full of drugs I can’t live with myself if that happened.”

I really wanted to point out that he could no longer live with or without himself as he was dead, but even the Grim Reaper school humor was lost on me because of the seriousness of the situation. It couldn’t hurt to help the girl out, could it?

It was my first professional full-time job and I had my assigned soul. I could, I should take mister druggie (now former druggie) to Stan, fill out the paperwork, and then go celebrate my new position and first successful job without any hiccups. Plus, I wanted to tell my parents the good news.

The baby wailed, making it hard to concentrate. What was there to consider? He didn’t have to live with himself, but I had to live with myself. Did I think I could fulfill my duties as a reaper for the extent of my career without bending a few rules? For whatever reason I liked people. I wanted to help. Although I knew I couldn’t prevent every death, I also knew that I couldn’t ignore every suffering. I had to figure out a compromise and this seemed like a simple one without any negative consequences. If I helped the baby I would be improving her life situation, not preventing her death. It was likely that no one would ever know what I did. And even if it was discovered, it would be years down the road when she would have met her natural death given her current situation. I shuddered at the thought of that baby being sold and raised to serve whoever purchased her.

I dialed 9-1-1 on his cell phone.

Continue reading GRIT’s adventures:

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

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

A Whole New World by Barbara Lund

Eye of the Beholder by Chris Makowski

What If by Katharina Gerlach

Subject: If You Don’t Hear From Me Again by Gina Fabio

Percival’s Bane: The Demon and The Void by Juneta Key

Rabble Rouser by James Husum

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Old Testament Organization

The 39 books of the Old Testament are divided into 5 major sections:

  • The Law or the Pentateuch (5 books, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
  • History Books (12 books, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther)
  • Wisdom Books (5 books, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs)
  • Major Prophets (5 books, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel)
  • Minor Prophets (12 books, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)

It isn’t necessary to memorize these categories, but it can be beneficial to know what kind of book you’re reading in order to best understand its message.

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Covenant of the Old Testament

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

After God leads the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, He takes them to Mount Sinai and gives them instructions, including the ones most of us are familiar with—the Ten Commandments.

That’s the context for Exodus 24:8, where we read, “Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, ‘This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.’”

This is the culmination of promise God made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who later had his named changed to Israel.

All of the Old Testament should be read in light of this covenant and Israel’s history.

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