S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A STuNNinG Gift

I received some great Christmas gifts this year and for each, I am thankful.  There is one gift, however, that stands apart from all of the rest.  It isn’t something I can wear to make me look or smell prettier.  It isn’t something I can use in the kitchen to help me whip up a gourmet meal.  It isn’t even something that adds decorative flavor to my home. 

Instead, it provides security.  It gives me a sense of safety.  It gives me the power to protect myself and my loved ones.  No, it isn’t a German Shepard guard dog.  It isn’t a new gun to rival the double-barrel shot gun I already possess.  It’s easier to conceal and easier to use.

It’s The International Body Guard Stun Gun and it packs quite the punch with 6.2 million volts.  They say it won’t kill an attacker instantly, unless they already have a heart condition; but one blast will knock down a 300 pound person, leaving them dazed and confused.  Imagine what two blasts will do!

This little beauty was a gift from my parents, and I can’t think of a more appropriate or loving thing to give a daughter than the ability to protect herself; especially in these tumultuous times. 

See, as good as the police are, and as much as I respect all that they do, they cannot be everywhere. In our world today one’s safety is a matter of personal responsibility.

So… to all of the cult group members and hate group members who have sent me notes warning me to “be careful” or “be quiet before someone makes me be quiet”…. to all of you who are so concerned with my well-being that you have written to tell me to “watch out” or to inform me that “wrath is coming”… to all of you who have told me I would be “better off dead”…  I have taken your advice.

I am armed and I will not hesitate to use my new, ELeCtRiFyinG friend, just as I will not hesitate to use my double barrel shot gun.  
What’s more….your threats have only empowered me toward action.  You will never silence my words.   ~

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm SAD: Shocked, Amazed, Disgusted

I know I shouldn’t be shocked by the behavior of hate groups like Westboro Church, but every time they open their mouths I find myself amazed…and disgusted.


On the flip side, their hateful behavior has been counteracted by some beautiful actions from groups that are standing against them, from Anonymous to bikers; these are truly angels in disguise.

Today I am writing to express my gratitude to those that have taken a stand against these groups, to those who have spoken out and/or have taken public action to say ‘this hatefulness is not okay and we’re not going to sit silently by and let it happen.’

It takes courage to take a stand, knowing there will be others that will not support your efforts or will even stand against your efforts; but I commend you and am grateful for you.

Anonymous used their talents to expose Westboro members for the hate activists they are.  Thank you.

Bikers left their homes and traveled to Connecticut to build a human wall of protection around the Sandy Hook Elementary School victim’s funerals, so that family members, friends and townspeople could peacefully remember their loved ones.  What a tremendous action of love!  Thank you.

I cannot understand why people spew hatred in the name of God, when God is clearly about love, peace, mercy and truth.  I have tried to force my mind to fathom even the tiniest inkling of rationality in their words, but I cannot.  Hate is hate and it will never be attached to God.

There is nothing more shameful than when leaders in the Christian community use fear-tactics to spread their own hatefulness in the name of the Lord.  It is utterly repulsive. They speak of God’s vengeance, His punishment and wrath; but what of His love, tenderness, mercy and truth?  Spreading God’s love doesn’t put butts in the seats or money in the bank as quickly as spreading fear.  Ironically, the bottom line is, for many Christian leaders, it’s all about the ‘bottom line.’  Shame on them.

Let’s take a glimpse at some of the so-called, self-proclaimed “men of God” and see just how good they are at spreading Christ’s message of love, mercy and truth.

Lou Engle from the International House of Prayer proclaimed that the EF5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri "was a sign that God's redemptive judgments are beginning to be manifest concerning the shedding of innocent blood and abortion."

So, according to Engle, abortion equals deadly tornado sent by God.
In addition, while with Rick Joyner, Engle agreed that Hurricane Katrina was “God’s punishment for homosexuality in America.”  Engle also stated that he agreed with the bill in Uganda which stated that homosexuals should be put to death. 

Wow… nothing speaks of God’s love more than violence and hate, huh boys?

Right-wing religious radical preacher, John McTernan said, “God is systematically destroying America as political judgment for the ‘homosexual agenda.’”  McTernan made this statement about Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Isaac (2012).

American Family Association’s Buster Wilson similarly claimed that “Hurricane Isaac was punishment for the Southern Decadence LGBT festival.”

Rick Joyner had the same to say about Hurricane Katrina, claiming that “God‘s not gonna put up with homosexual perversion anymore.”

Just like Joyner, Engle, McTernan and Wilson, Westboro Baptist Church said the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was “God’s way of punishing the state of Connecticut for legalizing same-sex marriage.” One WBC member tweeted, “Westboro will picket Sandy Hook elementary school to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.”

So, they are referring to murdered children and teachers as God “executing His judgment”… ?

To all of these so-called Christian leaders and to the WBC I say, WTF?!?

All of you are radical bigots and the fact that you have the nerve to call yourself Christians is both laughable and sad.  You are false prophets, misleading people with fear tactics and outright lies.  You should be ashamed and you will be condemned. 

God is clear on one thing:  He warns against false prophets and false teachers that will come in His name; and He promises to bring destruction upon them.  If I were you, I’d be very afraid. ~






Friday, December 21, 2012

If I Could Be Angel...

I was speaking at a book club meeting and one of the ladies said, “Sometimes I wish I was Michelangela Maratinzano from the Just Call MeAngel series.”

Another woman gasped, “Why would you want to be in the mafia?”

“I don’t want to be IN the mafia,” the woman explained, “I want to RUN a mob family.”  Needless to say, the room grew quiet as she continued.  “Just once I’d like to be in complete control, have all the hot Italian men I want, whenever I want, eat authentic Italian food, never worry about money, and have a ton of big men with big guns protecting me.”  She raised her eyebrows and made what I call a ‘yummy’ face.

There were varied reactions throughout the group… most quite comical.  But the topic got me thinking, and made me realize that there’s a part of me that’s living out a fantasy on the pages of the Angel books too.

Let’s face it, Angel is young, attractive and thrust into a position of power unlike any woman in the mafia world has ever held.  She’s strong, daring and conflicted, to which I think we can all relate on some level. 

Now, I adore my husband and children and wouldn’t want to go back to that single lifestyle; however, I think I probably live out a sexual fantasy every time Angel engages in romantic encounters with Tony and Andrew.  I’ve certainly modeled those characters after men I would find interesting and alluring; and in my single days, wouldn’t have turned down a romp in the hay with either of them.  J

Power.  Money.  Romance.  Great food.  There are definitely advantages to being Angel, but the downside is that she lives in a violent world, where life has less value than loyalty.  Can Angel change the way the mafia has always been run?  I don’t know, but she’s hell-bent on trying, and if I’m honest I have to admire her courage.

Would I want to be Angel for a day?  Well…. maybe for a couple of hours…just long enough to spend some quality time with Tony and Andrew, to eat some of Olga’s homemade Cannoli and to have a late night conversation with Giovanni.  Oh, and shooting the handheld Uzi one time wouldn’t be so bad either…. but only at a target, not a person.  
The truth is.... each time I write an Angel book I lose myself in her world and I enjoy every minute of it.  ~


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Notable and Quotable

Today I am going to quote some people I respect.  Some of them I don’t even know as they are writers and philosophers from long ago, others are merely friends in the virtual world of Facebook or Twitter, and some are close and personal.  Each of these quotes are meaningful to me, as I have found them applicable throughout my life.


“You don’t have a soul, you are a soul.  You have a body.”

I heard this was said by C.S. Lewis and then I’ve also read that he was not the original, but had quoted it from someone else.  Regardless who said it first, I love this quote because it reminds me that life isn’t about the exterior, but the interior.  Beauty is on the inside and radiates outwardly.  Love, faith, truth, hope …. they are all attributes of the soul, not the body.  Sure, the physical realm is important and there needs to be balance between the external and the internal; but the true purpose of every person lies within.


“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde

This is such simple advice and yet, at times, so difficult to live.  It is hard, particularly for the youth of today, as they are seeking validation, acceptance and a sense of belonging in what can feel like an overwhelming world of deception and chaos.  Conformity doesn’t equal true belonging, but this is a lesson that often stems from a long learning process.  For some, the process lasts a lifetime.  Loving oneself is often the most difficult task.  Accepting oneself, especially when you appear or feel “different” from everyone around you, can be daunting.  But, I believe it is important to realize that God created you exactly as you are and you have a purpose in life; one you can’t fulfill by conforming and becoming something you were not made to be.  True belonging starts by accepting yourself.


"Nothing is impossible. The very word itself says I'm Possible." ~Audrey Hepburn

LOVE this quote!  It was said by a woman oozing with class and elegance. What’s more… I believe it.  Nothing is impossible because with God “all things are possible.” (Luke 18:27)  Despite the odds, miracles happen.  Statistically impossible things happen.  Your dream, whatever it may be, IS possible, even when it looks grim.  I hold onto this every day.  I clutch it, cling to it and never let it go.  The world will beat you down unless you stand on a foundation of faith; and there is no greater faith than to look into a world of doubt and say, “Nothing is impossible.”

"If you're going to walk on thin ice you may as well dance!"

Story of my life.  I’ve done some stupid things… some crazy things…some things I hope my children never do.  BUT… I can honestly look back at my life and say I’ve had fun.  I’ve played hard, laughed until my sides hurt, cried so hard I’ve thrown up, loved and even hated.  I’ve pulled people close, pushed people away, hidden in sorrow and been exposed.  I’ve sinned, I’ve triumphed, I’ve hit my knees, writhed in agony, screamed in ecstasy and thrown my share of punches.  I’ve been selfish and selfless, I’ve been used, I’ve been cherished, I’ve been jealous and broken; and I wouldn’t trade any of it.  Every up had a down and every down taught me the lesson which gave me the strength and the wisdom for the next up.

Perhaps there was a time when one could play life safe, but I think those days are gone.  Our world today is reckless and scary.  You can’t go to a movie without thinking about a gunman coming in.  You can’t send your kids to school without thinking about children being massacred.  One might say we are all living on thin ice….that our very existence is on thin ice…  and if it is then isn’t that more of a reason to enjoy every moment?  


"If you're judging someone you're too busy to love them." ~Mother Theresa

This is one of my hot buttons.  Jesus told us not to judge other people, and that’s good enough for me.  When I look back at all of my mistakes, all of my flaws and wrongdoings, I think to myself, “Who am I to judge anyone?”  I’m the greatest sinner of them all.  I’m from a generation that loved sex, drugs and rock-n-roll and guess what?  I still love all three.  The point is, truly loving someone means I’m not going to judge them and what’s more, I’m not going to try to change them. 

There are Christians that proclaim to be non-judgmental, yet they actively pursue people in order to “save them from their sin.”  Homosexuals often endure this un-spoken condemnation.  I have seen and heard this many times and it repulses me.  Because the Bible says that God doesn’t like homosexuality, some Christians take this as license to condemn and try to change the homosexual person; all the while arrogantly proclaiming how they have been gracious enough to accept this homosexual into their life.  This is not love.  This is judgment.

“I have homosexual friends, and I pray for them.”  I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard a fellow Christian utter this sentence.  It’s really repulsive and what’s more, it’s a form of condemnation and judgment. 

If a person is non-judgmental it means that they do not distinguish one individual from another based on external factors.  We’ve all heard the expression “love is blind.”  What that means is that truly loving someone gives you the ability to become blind to the external, unimportant things and to see and accept who they are on the inside.  It means it doesn’t matter whether someone is homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual or metrosexual.  The color of their skin, their nationality and their religion don’t matter.  True love is when you realize everyone is equal and on the same level in God’s eyes.

As a Christian, your job is to love people, not analyze what you deem as sin in their life, try to change it and silently reward yourself for being so gracious as to “accept them anyway.”

Everyone has sin in their life.  


"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." ~Dr.Seuss

It’s hard when good things come to an end, but I think it is important to take the goodness and the lesson from each experience and hold onto it.  Be thankful you had the opportunity to participate in something wonderful or get to know someone wonderful.  If you cherish those memories they will forever make you smile.


“Faith. Hope and Love; but the greatest of these is love.”  ~ Jesus



“The greatest danger facing the Church today comes not from outside the Church but from within it, from people who are too eagerly twisting millennial expectations and the radicalism of youth to their own twisted ends.”

If you are involved in a group that alienates you from your family or your friends, that financially isolates you, that robs you of your individual identity, that looks down upon you for questioning and even punishes you for what they deem as disobedience, you could be in a dangerous situation.  Seek help.    

“Stay close to your friends. Stay close to your family. Stay grounded in the truth.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

AnonBerean12 - Dwelling in a House of Lies

I received the following message last night from someone who calls themselves "anonberean12."  Here is the message:  

S.R.Claridge, I have read your blogs about IHOP and your book House of Lies. I know it's written about IHOP but your information in the book isn't accurate. You tried to make your character Max Sagan be like Mike Bickle, but Bickle is a true man of God and a true prophet. You are going against God and God will not allow you to spread lies about His chosen people. You are offended by what you don't understand and you're mocking people you shouldn't. If I were you I'd be careful. 
This isn't the first message I've received from an obvious IHOP member and I am certain it will not be the last.
IHOP cult members are obviously upset about my book.  They are angry because they think it was written about their cult group and at the same time, they accuse me of not accurately depicting IHOP.  I find this humorously ironic. 
House of Lies is a fictional story.  The fact that it has similarities to what has happened in the Bethany Deaton murder or the fact that people are drawing similarities between characters in the book and real-life cult leaders is coincidental.  As I have stated many times, I studied five cult groups before writing House of Lies.  IHOP was merely one of those five.
I have not "accurately" depicted IHOP because the book is not written about IHOP.  It is a story about a fictional cult group named P3.  The character of Max Sagan, the leader of P3, was designed to be a cult leader to which people could relate, a leader from which readers would sense a spirit of evil and deceit. It is obvious that on some level IHOP members are relating to Max Sagan.
If you are drawing similarities between the fictional Max Sagan and IHOP founder, Mike Bickle, those are your own personal conclusions and not a connection I have made.  If you are connecting the two then perhaps you should take a deeper look at the leader you are following.  Bickle, like many of the others I have studied, is a "self-appointed" prophet of God, and if you study his history you will find that not even one of his prophesies has come into fruition.  He disbanned the Kansas City Prophets because they were publically proven false.

Bickle claims to have visited heaven twice and says he has been chosen to change the face of christianity as we know it.... perhaps he is doing this by replacing God with his own ego (?)  Perhaps this egotism is the similarity you see between Bickle and my fictional character, Sagan (?)

I would ask you to compare Bickle to the real prophets from the Bible.  They were nothing like what you see in your cult movement today.
I am not "offended" by what I don't understand.  I am cautioned by what I do understand.  I am not the one who has jumped into a movement without studying it from the roots up.  I am not the one who has adopted an elitist attitude, one that refers to oneself as God's "chosen people," with the implication that others are not His chosen. (I am quoting from the above message sent to me.)
I am not mocking Mike Bickle nor any IHOP members.  I am saddened by him and by this cult group, just as I am saddened by other cult groups with similar beliefs and heresies. 
You want to point a finger at me because deep down you know I have struck a chord of truth, and when you allow yourself to ponder it, it reverberates through your fickle foundation; and you fear if it cracks beneath you, you will fall and when you fall there will be nothing left.   
What you need to understand is that it is only when you let go of the cult group that you will truly realize the depth of God's love and mercy for you.  He will not let you fall.
You can continue to threaten me, but your time would be better spent studying the movement to which you have devoted your life.  I will "be careful" as you said.... careful to examine every group from the roots up, looking at the fruit and making sure it is not dripping with judgmentalism, deception and utter falsehood.  It is my hope that you will do the same.
I will end this blog by asking you one question:  Could it be that House of Lies offended you because deep down you know you are indeed dwelling in a house of lies?  Could it be that it is just too close for comfort?  ~

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Your Voice Matters

A letter from a reader:


"Dear Susan, I don’t normally write to the author of books I read but in this case I felt I needed to send this note.  I read House of Lies and it brought me to tears because I know exactly what the book is talking about.  I’ve been in that prayer room, I’ve listened to the bigotry and the hate in the name of our Lord, I’ve seen the hollow stare in member’s eyes and shamefully, I’ve participated in wrangling scripture in my own mind and in front of others.  I felt convicted in my soul when I read how Skylar was fighting to save her sister, because my family fought to try and save me. I realized how much they went thru and the pain they went thru and how poorly I had treated them all that time.  I know you said House of Lies isn’t about IHOP, but for me it is.  I was with IHOP for almost two years and during that time I saw things that I wish I could forget.  Your descriptions of the demonic activity and the hypnotic chanting and the twisted scripture is very real, and how you describe the journals being used to administer fake prophetic words is very real.  Even the leaders like Lou and Mike and Misty are shown accurately and I felt like I was back in that place when I read the story. Lou rocks back and forth on stage and screams into the microphone and Mike lies and uses false doctrine to scare people into believing his way is the only way. The whole thing is a lie from the ground up but from the minute you walk in the door you are taught to not question Mike and he answers every question before you even ask it, so when it comes up you dismiss it because it’s already been answered.  He teaches us to expect to offend others with our love for Jesus, and that is deceptive because it was never my love for Jesus that offended anyone.  It was my elite attitude and arrogance that told my loved ones that something was wrong.  Even the conversations between Skylar and Tess in the book made me think of things I said to my own family. I argued almost verbatim as the book and defended the false prophecies just like Tess does to Skylar.  I was arrogant and believed I was chosen but I couldn’t see it at the time.  Now the elite-ness makes me sick and I see that I was just like a drug addict, just like the book says, it felt good at first but the deeper I went into it the more I began to see that something wasn’t right.  I have prayed for forgiveness and asked my family for forgiveness and I know God is so good and gracious and He has forgiven me.  When I left IHOP I was like cast out and they acted as if I never even existed or was a part of them.  They said I was deceived because they truly believe and I did too that everyone else is deceived and not a part of God’s plans.  A part of me wishes Skylar were real and she and Braznovich and Ernie and all the townspeople of Grandview would really blow the place up without anyone getting hurt of course.  But that’s not probably going to happen because people in Kansas City are too afraid to go against them.  They’re very powerful and not only do they have weapons there but they have eyes and ears everywhere.  I wanted you to know that your book is real to me and will be real to anyone who has been inside IHOP.  Just like in the book, IHOP looks good from the outside and feels good for a while and then the darkness of its foundation begins to seep upward and wrap around ankles like thick clay, holding them down and even pulling them down like quicksand.  I am praying your book, even though it’s just a fictional story, will reach people and show the world what IHOP really is before its too late.

Praying God’s blessing on you,



I read this email and my heart ached because this is just one of many, many letters I have received sharing the same things.  It makes me happy that people are able to relate to the story of House of Lies; but it also makes me sad…. sad that organizations like IHOP and Westboro (to name a couple) spread a message of hate in the name of God. 

[IHOP is not nearly on the same level of hate mongering as Westboro Baptist Church; but in listening to Lou Engle preach and push his anti-gay and anti-abortion agendas, there are nauseating similarities.  For example, Lou Engle announced to the media that the “Joplin, Missouri tornado was God’s punishment for abortion,” and that "Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for homosexuality."  This statement is not far from the statement made by Westboro that the “Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was God’s punishment for homosexual marriage.”  Having family involved in IHOP, I hate that there are any similarities between IHOP and Westboro; but, sadly, there are.]

Each letter I receive confirms that there is a problem and that the problem is growing bigger. 

To everyone who has been involved in IHOP or any other cult group, you are not alone and there are people and resources out there to help you.  Here are a couple:

It takes courage to write me a letter and to speak up, and I admire that courage.  I want to encourage everyone who has written me to take your story and share it to a broader audience.  Every time you tell the truth about your experience with IHOP or another cult group, you could be stopping someone else from enduring the same fate. 

Blog about your experience.  Share it with friends, family and other churches.  If you witnessed or went through any form of abuse, report it to the police.  You can file a police report without taking action against the cult group.  A report is simply a written record of what occurred. 

Lastly, consider taking your story to the media.  Your experience can empower the media to investigate further and could stop abusive action from happening in the future.  Your voice matters.

I know it is scary, but you are not alone.  In speaking out, you are protecting others.  If more people had spoken out, maybe Jeremiah Candler would still be alive and maybe Bethany Leidlein Deaton would still be alive.  How many others will die before we have the courage to stand up together and say this is wrong.

If you are in the Kansas City area and if you have witnessed or experienced any type of abuse from IHOP or any other cult group, consider sharing your story with these people.  They will listen and will not use your name unless you give them express permission.  If you know anything about the Bethany Deaton murder, contact these reporters.

Kansas City Star
Joe Robertson
Donald Bradley

Fox 4 News Kansas City
Gia Vang
Sarah Clark

New York Times
Erica Goode

To everyone who has written to me…. Thank you.  Your letters mean a lot and I hope you will consider sharing your experiences with a broader audience.  Your voice can make a difference in someone's life.  ~

Monday, December 17, 2012

Armed Good Guys (at least) Have a Shot

I’ve read countless Facebook posts about gun control and how guns are to blame for the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy.

This statement is not entirely correct.

Yes, guns were used, but people are to blame.  In this case, a mentally disturbed individual is to blame. I can own one hundred guns, but if I never load one and fire it at someone, then those guns never kill. 

That being said…. Should we institute some form of gun control.  Yes.  But we need to make certain it is not in violation of our overall right to bear arms.  It’s a fine line, but it is an important line and should not be crossed.

People have quoted statistics about how the United States has the highest rate of gun-related deaths each year.  I would like to know how many of those deaths are due to genuine accidents and how many were caused by un-registered, un-licensed gang-type behavior. 

See, Americans who are licensed gun carriers are not the ones killing people.  Americans who own guns to protect themselves and their families are not the ones walking into schools and murdering children.

If we take away our right to bear arms as a nation, it only affects the law-abiding citizens and those aren’t the people who are killing others. The “bad” guys are still going to get guns, whether there is a law against it or not. 

Drugs are illegal, and yet look at the number of meth, crack, heroin and cocaine users in our nation.  It is the same with guns.  “Bad” people are going to do bad things no matter what laws we have in place.  What we CAN do is make it harder for them to do bad things…

Should we make it more difficult to purchase a gun?  Sure.  Should we institute harsher punishments on those caught with un-registered, un-licensed guns?  Sure.  But punishing legal gun owners who have not and most likely will never use their gun to commit a crime is only causing greater problems.

A greater debate is do we arm more “good” people in order to better be able to stop the “bad” people.  I don’t know.  But, had the Principal or the Counselor or one of those teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary been a concealed, licensed carrier, maybe they would have been able to get to their gun and maybe they would have been able to take the man down before he reached any classrooms.

I don’t know the answer… but I believe, in today’s world, arming teachers so they can at least have a fair shot at protecting our children is no longer an idea I would frown upon.  Having an armed guard at our schools is no longer unfathomable. 
Look at the two signs above.  Now, pretend you're a deranged individual who gets the idea to go into a school and kill people.  Which sign has a better chance at making you stop and re-think your plan?

Let’s face it, parents of all of the children in all of the schools across our nation watched the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in horror; and if one of us could have picked up a gun and ended the disaster by killing the shooter we’d have done it in a heartbeat.  Any one of us would have fired that shot and taken him out to protect our kids; but we can’t fire a shot with a gun we don’t own.

Unarmed good guys can’t stop an armed bad guy…. but armed good guys have a shot.  ~


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Preachers That Piss Me Off !!

We’ve all heard what happened at the elementary school in Connecticut… there are no words that can describe it.  It’s every parent’s worst nightmare and it is unbearable agony. 

When a spouse loses their partner, they are called a widow or widower.  When a child loses their parents they are called an orphan.  But there is no term for when a parent loses a child.  It is un-natural.  It isn’t supposed to happen and it certainly isn’t supposed to happen like this.

Parents lose children to illness and to accidents.  That is brutal enough.  But to lose them because a mentally ill adult attacks and murders them is … well… there are no words to describe it.  It is more than injustice.  It is more than wrong.  It is more than evil.

My heart breaks for everyone who has lost children and loved ones in this tragedy.  I am praying for them and for the children, teachers and families who survived but will be forever scarred by what happened. 


That being said…

I have already heard something disturbing….something I knew would eventually be verbalized but thought people would have the decency to wait until the mourning process was over and there was at least some inkling of healing in sight.  Of course, these people don’t wait… they want to voice their ever-judgmental opinion with cold immediacy.  They want to strike while the iron is hot, thinking it will in some way have a greater effect. 

Well, it had an affect… it pissed me off!

I won’t name specific names (yet) but several preachers have come forward claiming that this tragedy occurred because “we, as a nation, have taken God out of our schools.” 

To that I say:  BULLSHIT!

To these preachers, I ask this:  Who are you that you think you have the power to take God out of anything or anywhere?  You arrogant son-of-a-bitch!  You’re talking about the Almighty Jehovah God; all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipotent.  You nor I have the power to remove Him.  He doesn’t reside in buildings or in systems of government or programs.  He isn’t something you can vote in or out.  God dwells in the hearts of people.

Don’t you dare tell these devastated parents that God wasn’t there because our nation removed Him.  God WAS there.  He IS there.  He promised to always be there.  He didn’t say bad things wouldn’t happen… He said when they happen He will never leave us alone.  He will never leave us nor forsake us.

This didn’t happen because God wasn’t in that school…this didn't happen because someone voted to take prayer out of school systems... it happened because of a mentally ill individual.  That mentally ill man would have walked into that school regardless of whether a law allowed public prayer or not.
You like to take tragic events, be they man-made or forces of nature, and use them to beat the living crap out of people.... to scare them into accepting some unfounded belief about God. 
You are the people who think the Joplin, Missouri tornado was "God's punishment for abortion."  You are not only ridiculous, you are deceivers and manipulators of God's Word.  Shame on you.

I can tell you this:  I am a Believer.  I am a Christian.  I love Jesus with all of my heart.  My children go to public school and God IS with them every minute of every day.  It doesn’t matter if they are publically allowed to pray in school; they are praying quietly in their hearts anyway.  Regardless of what a law says, there is prayer in school because prayer is generated from the hearts of people; not some mandated law.

Would I like prayer to be publically allowed in schools… yes.  But laws don’t keep God out.  Laws don’t stop prayer.  God doesn't punish His own children because someone else voted to take prayer out.  It doesn't work that way. 

Laws don’t control the Almighty. Period. And here's a newsflash for you.... YOU don't control the Almighty either.

So if this is the kind of right-wing, bullshit message you’re going to send hurting parents, then it would be more beneficial for you to go stick your head back up your ass and stop spreading lies in the name of God.

I don’t claim to know everything about the Lord.  I wish I knew Him better, but what I do know is that YOU are not a representation of HIM.  Not even close.  You are a sham, a fraud, a fake and I am ashamed to have to share the title of “Christian” with the likes of you.

God is everywhere, all of the time.  Period.

What I’m realizing is that what should be voted out or disallowed in our society are preachers like you, who twist and taint the Word of God for your own gain; who use fear-tactics and I-told-you-so’s to your own advantage and represent God in a condemning, judgmental way.  You make me sick.

You suffer from "ass-holism" and you spread your disease every time you open your mouth.  Instead of being concerned about God in our schools, why don't you look at your own church, because based on your teachings I'd say God isn't anywhere near your church. 
You are mis-leading and deceiving people.... and if I were you I'd be afraid because I don't think God's going to put up with your bullshit for much longer. ~

Friday, December 14, 2012

What Will Santa Bring YOU?

Looking for something suspenseful this Christmas... Want to add some mystery to your life?  What does Santa have in his bag for you?

"S.R.Claridge novels are a non-stop ride of action and adventure."  BookWatchMagazine
"S.R.Claridge writes bona fide suspense thrillers." Apex Reviews

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

One Voice

I love this quote from the book "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson. 

"If you aren't willing to step out of the boat (Peter), you will never walk on water. If you aren't willing to circle the city (Jericho), the wall will never fall. And if you aren't willing to follow the star (wise men), you will miss out on the biggest adventure of your life."

This strikes a chord in me because there are moments in my life when I don’t want to get out of the proverbial boat, and yet, I still want to reap the benefits as if I had acted in faith.  There are days when I’d rather sit in my comfortable boat and let someone else take the leap of faith.  There are times when I don’t feel like circling the wall… moments when I ask myself why we even need the wall to come down.  After all, who cares if the wall is there, right?  I mean, can’t we just all get along already?!?

Then I feel that soul-tugging reminder that life is a journey and the learning comes with the process of taking action; despite how scary and/or difficult it may be at first.

Sometimes you have to step out of the boat and take the uncomfortable stand in order to change the world.  Sometimes it is your leap of faith that inspires others toward action; and when you stand together there is strength.

In the words of Barry Manilow, it only takes one voice…

Just One Voice,
Singing in the darkness,
All it takes is One Voice,
Singing so they hear what's on your mind,
And when you look around you'll find
There's more than
One Voice,

Singing in the darkness,
Joining with your One Voice,
Each and every note another octave,
Hands are joined and fears unlocked.


One voice can empower others toward action.  One voice can encourage others to speak up.  One voice can change the world.

But …. We have to step out of the boat.  We have to join hands and circle the wall.  We have to open our mouth and let our voice be heard.

It’s scary sometimes.  It’s lonely sometimes.  But if everyone stayed in the safety of the boat nothing would ever change.

In yesterday’s blog, I answered your top ten most frequently asked questions.  Now, I have a question for you: 

*  Does real love choose to ignore the wall and accept that a relationship can only exist through cracks in the wall…. Or does real love grip hands and march around it until the wall falls down?

*  Does real love sit in the boat and watch as someone drowns…OR…does it step onto the water, in the midst of the storm, on the off-chance of rescuing that person?

*  Does real love shut up, or does it have a voice that sings in the darkness, hoping others will join in the chorus and change the world?

If you didn’t have to stand alone, what would you use your voice to stand for or to stand against?  ~