Piracy comes in many guises

Piracy at sea and other kinds

What do you think of when you hear the word piracy? Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean? Old-fashioned swashbuckling tales? Pirates on the ‘high seas’ still exist. I watched an eye-opening movie recently called Captain Phillips. Few of us, we hope, would be in such a position. But many other forms of piracy abound.

Piracy is also theft from…

  • Authors,
  • Music artists,
  • Software developers, to name but a few.

How often do you worry about your paycheck getting stolen? Probably not too often, because we have strong laws that deter and punish theft of money, banking systems in place to protect you and track down the thief, and law enforcement that will step in to help.”

Digital piracy

intellectual rights piracy

The victims of this kind of piracy don’t have this security and the small amount of royalties goes into the hands of the companies who do the pirating, or the pirates themselves.

  • Software piracy.
    Software piracy is the act of stealing software that is legally protected. This stealing includes copying, distributing, modifying or selling the software.
    One example…
    Hard disk loading is a type of commercial software piracy in which someone buys a legal version of the software and then reproduces, copies or installs it onto computer hard disks. The person then sells the product. This often happens at PC resale shops and buyers aren’t always aware that the additional software they are buying is illegal.
    See the last sentence – you could be a software pirate and not know it.
  • Music piracy.
    Music piracy is the copying and distributing of recordings of a piece of music for which the rights owners (composer, recording artist, or copyright-holding record company) did not give consent.
    By the way… there are many people who pirate movies too.
  • Piracy from authors.
    There are increasing numbers of sites selling pirate copies of eBooks. Most times the author doesn’t know, but even if they do there is little can be done. Book piracy is one of the issues I have written about before, but it seems to be thriving… especially during the Covid-19 lockdown.

EBook piracy

Authors don’t have this security when their royalties are siphoned off by e-book pirates.

And that is what started me on this subject. I have a Google Alert for all my books and regularly a pirate site tries to sell a copy of Hold the Faith, the first book in the Apostle John Series. Whatever site is advertising a free copy of my book, they all lead to the same sign up page. Yes, and not only sign up, but Credit Card details. The reason discussed is to make sure that it’s not a ‘bot.’ Well, other sites use various forms of Captcha software. I usually click the link to get to the page, but don’t go any further.

This week two pirate sites were caught in the net.

My concern, and why I am writing this, is that one of them went through several redirects. (I watched the address bar) It ended up at a page where a large notice almost covered an naked person. The notice warned that naked images would be shown if you clicked to go further.

Perhaps the site owners think that if you want to steal books, you might want a little porn thrown in. There is nothing I can do about this, which is why I am warning my blog readers. Beware.

Piracy can be phishing


I have written of this before, see Piracy Three Ways, and my opinion has not changed. There is no justification for stealing, but many people do not see the kind of piracy mentioned in the list as being theft. However, it is.

It is often said, “Well the company can afford it.” May I point out that it is not the company who loses most, it is the musician, or author, or software developer. All have labored long and hard to produce what they are endeavouring to sell.

Update, More pirating

Since I wrote this a couple of weeks ago I ended up in hospital with what the doctors called a ‘small’ heart attack. My oxygen level went dangerously low and the heart attack was the result. Since my discharge, in the few days this week more pirate sites sailed into my net.

The eBook version of Hold the Faith is only $2.99 on Amazon , Apple and other leading eBook sellers. Much better than entering your credit card details in a database based in the Eastern European block. (One of the links forgot to disguise the URL.) If the one offered has red on the cover, it is the ‘old version,’ and has since been updated. It should look like this…

Buyer beware, especially now when there is so much theft.

Since I wrote this a couple of weeks ago I ended up in hospital with what the doctors called a ‘small’ heart attack. My oxygen level went dangerously low and the heart attack was the result. Since my discharge, in the few days this week more pirate sites sailed into my net.

Hoping for a healthier week,

God bless you


Something else I noticed had increased… author scams.
I receive many emails from ‘companies’ saying that my book fits their criteria for publishing/has been re-assessed and they would like to publish it.

Since I haven’t submitted it (them. I have more than one book, plus the novellas) anywhere, that’s a bit clue that something is awry. Authors beware, it’s your money they are after!

Fraud alert

Rebellious! What do you mean?

no rebellious people here

Well, the man who ‘escaped’ from self-imposed quarantine to go visit his girlfriend several train stops from Perth city was certainly rebellious. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-15/man-jailed-for-breaching-coronavirus-quarantine-by-leaving-hotel/12149908

It is claimed he visited his girlfriend in a different suburb, some reports say he travelled by train, others that he travelled by bus. Since he ‘escaped’ on more than one occasion perhaps he did both.

How many people might he have infected… or didn’t he think about that? Well, now that he is in prison perhaps he might think about it.

The dangerous thing about this virus is that a person with it is infectious before the symptoms of the disease begin.

See a previous post… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/social-distancing-in-perilous-times/

Why is this being rebellious?

It is against the law, like the law or not.

We are in the midst of this COVID 19 crisis. Most people, at great cost to themselves, and their businesses are keeping the law.’ That man, and others who insist on meeting in groups, are all rebelling.

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will [a]bring judgment on themselves.
Romans 13: 1, 2.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Romans 13:2 Lit. receive

How long will all these restrictions last?

No one knows, and I think everyone is so ‘fed up’ of the name of the virus… not to mention all the theories about it, and then there are all the conspiracy theories as well.

But ‘like it or lump it’ (a saying from my childhood) these restrictions are from the governing authorities. So, if we are endeavouring to keep God’s instructions, then we will keep the rules whether we like the rule or not.

no rebellious people here

What are you rebellious about?

Think about it and then consider why. There might be ‘many mansions in My Father’s house’ (John 14:2) but the people in them will be the ones who obey God. Remember the other verse…Matt 7: 23. And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ New American Standard Version.

Lawlessness… is this the same as being rebellious? Perhaps.

Most of us have some areas where we dislike rules, perhaps make our own rules, but we would do well to consider the consequences.

It is certainly true that most of us are tired of hearing about COVID 19; there are so many conflicting news reports, conspiracy theories… but all of this has brought to light something we need to consider. Are we law-abiding citizens? Interesting thought.

On that I will leave you… with a look at how the future MIGHT change. These are just theories, and there are an overwhelming number of theories.

How the future might change



By the way… My apologies for this post being late. As some of you know, yesterday was the birthday of a son no longer with us. These kind of days are never comfortable.

Writer, author beware

Author beware

Not every writer is an author, but all authors are writers. Whichever you class yourself as… beware. You are in the crosshairs of scammers. Oh they offer something, dangling the carrot but the prize is your name in their database. Additionally, you may find you also receive mail from their affiliate link people.

An affiliate, in general business terms, is an “official attachment” of one business entity to another. … In online retailing, affiliation is common in marketing and selling wherein one company may affiliate with another to sell products or services. The seller has a website on which affiliates may sell products.”

You can be a blogger, or an author but generally this is more a blogger’s way to monetize their site. (Make money.) Writers who are bloggers are offered courses, or software to help you ‘monetize your blog.’



carrot to lure authors

Unless you are a ‘big name’ author, you need reviews. So the dangling carrot says – because reviews bring sales. That’s one carrot to catch us… but there is another growing trend.

Awards and possibly the book being picked up by a film company.

Some of these are genuine, but a vast majority are not, in fact a growing number are not.

Personal experience 1

I have experience of both. Being fooled by an offer of author software to make my life easier. I would like to say I was taken in because I was ‘recovering from a hospital stay’ and perhaps it was. However, truth be told I was ‘taken in.’

The piece of software did not work. For more than a week I wrote daily to the support team/person selling the ‘programme’ and received only a form reply. You know the kind… “Thank you for your patience while we work on this.” Because there was no option for a refund, in the end I sent them an email saying I was going to contact my bank because this felt like I was being stalled. There were no more emails from support. So, I did contact my bank.

A couple of weeks later when the payment had been reversed the angry emails threatening me started. The person (quite a common name if you are on one of her affiliate’s lists) said she would ‘blacken my name’ with her affiliates too. When the first emails arrived, I tried to explain, then stopped because it was clearly pointless.
But I saved all the threatening emails in a folder.

Then there is experience 2

Keep the Flame, book 4 in the Apostle John SeriesThis one is actually farther back. One of my books won another award; it already had one.

It was a ‘higher level’ award, and came with the option of purchasing a beautiful, but rather expensive glass award.
Award page  
Scroll down to view.

I decided not spend the money.

Then one of my care aides saw a picture of the award and persuaded me to order it. She said it would be something for my young granddaughter overseas to remember me by. Since I will never be able to travel again, therefore will not see her again, I gave in.

The award never arrived, and that was the 2018 awards. I never received the stickers, or the certificate either.

Since then I have discovered this site…


Writer, or author

I consider myself both. But I do not montetize my blog, I only recommend (on a personal level) products I have found useful or which live up to what they claim to do.

With my author writing… Not everyone who likes my books writes a review, it would be good if they did, but some readers write to me telling me how much they enjoyed the book/books.

Reason for writer, author beware

I am embarrassed at the mistakes I made and reluctant to share. However, so many new writers and authors are appearing in one of the writing groups I belong to. When I made my mistakes, there was no one to ask. So, I share this is in the hope of saving other authors and writers from following in my mistakes.

Beware, but keep writing.


Social Distancing in Perilous Times

Social distancing, not immune

Social distancing is nothing new, what is new is that now it applies to people who never experienced it before. Many people have already been isolated; some from disease, some from disability, and others because their spouses and friends have died. However, now everyone (who keeps the rules) can experience what these people have already experienced.

Will it make people…

  • More understanding of the less fortunate?
  • Less critical of other people?
  • Aware of what it feels like to be ‘stuck at home?’

And for those who are in the categories above…

  • Kinder towards those who are experiencing these things for the first time?
  • Understand, rather than think ‘now you know what it feels like?’
  • Offer help?

Interesting article on Wired.

Social distancing and COVID 19 dominate the news

Most of us are weary of hearing nothing else, but we watch, listen, and try to understand.

As the article on ‘Wired’ states, “depression and anxiety are kissing cousins.”

What is known about the virus is not much more than it was at the start… see a previous post https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/coronavirus-what-do-we-know/

Talking, via video conferencing with friends overseas, it seems that compared to them Western Australia has enacted much stricter rules. But with a degree of compassion.

A German cruise ship which has been refused entry to several ports was finally granted access, under strict conditions, to Fremantle port.

Passengers had made signs saying ‘Thank you Fremantle,’ as well as ‘We love Fremantle.”

What now?

Like circling sharks, several cruise ships have been travelling up and down the West Australian coast. However, some have anchored in Gage Roads waiting.

The situation here changes daily. Who could fail to feel sorry for the passengers on these expensive world cruises, who are denied entry at most ports.


Then it changed, and   two private hospitals are now caring for some of the passengers taken from the ship.

Other ‘venues’ have been proposed.

Some defy the order for social distancing

risk to healthcare workers

And have led to the closure of beaches, the frustration of authorities, and put others in danger.

If you ignore the rules and contract this virus, you are putting a strain on the hospital system. You are also costing the few remaining tax payers their valuable tax dollars, which would be better used in prevention, or finding a solution. In addition you are putting the lives/health of our healthcare and emergency workers at risk.

Danger of social isolation

Unless we make an effort to keep in touch we will become ‘stay-at-home’ shut-ins. Already, because of busy lifestyles the elderly are often forgotten. With people working at least one job, up until recently at any rate, there never seemed to be time for visiting elderly family members. What happens now? And what happens if the elderly person is not a relative?

What can we, who are used to being isolated do to help?

  • Email
  • Phone calls
    • Ask if the person needs any shopping done.
  • Send a card, or leave one in their mailbox.
  • Leave a small food parcel on the doorstep of someone you know is isolated.

Don’t forget

This virus, and the ‘flu which will follow it, does not only target old people. Young people are at risk, so are children and in a rare case, an infant in Illinois has died after testing positive. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/covid-19-united-states-rare-case-us-infant-dies-coronavirus-12586822

May the parents find comfort.

And may you all find peace


Cleansing, ethnic or otherwise

result of cleansing

The term ethnic cleansing to denote over a hundred years of clearing Scots from their land is a phrase rejected by those who see Scotland’s ills issuing from its weather, strange culinary habits, an odd language, and a people a little too inclined to be chippy.

This excellent article is from ‘The Grouse Beater.’ Given all that is happening in the UK post-Brexit, maybe it is time to look at the history.

Posted on April 21, 2018by Grouse Beater


Vast tracts of the Highlands offer arable land, fit for modern farming methods

If clearing people from their land by force is not cleansing, what is it?

The term ethnic cleansing to denote over a hundred years of clearing Scots from their land is a phrase rejected by those who see Scotland’s ills issuing from its weather, strange culinary habits, an odd language, and a people a little too inclined to be chippy. Alba, it seems, is full of vexatious people who do nothing but complain.

Using ‘cleansing’ is condemned as out of context, erroneously contemporaneous, too emotional because it was often Scot against Scot that did the dirty work.

Well, I have news for slimy proselytisers. It was Jewish guards given temporary preferment who hustled Jews to the gas chambers, less their belongings and clothes. They had no choice. It was do or die. Who would dare not call that barbarity a cleansing?

Evictions, deportation in all weathers cause deaths, especially of children, pregnant mothers and the elderly. Many Scots died from the vicissitudes that befell them, some from losing their wits, and more perished on the emigrant ships.

After the battle of Culloden – its repercussions I explain later – British rule arrived with a vengeance. New laws and taxes were imposed on Scotland leaving only the most rebellious prepared to protest. Clan chiefs found themselves in the invidious position of being landlords forced to report on their clan’s behaviour monthly to prove they were loyal to the British Crown and keeping the peace.

Colonial power always avers it’s for your own good

Read the rest of the article/essay https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/the-sorrow-and-the-shame/

Who knows what kind of world we will have when all this ‘virus’ and pandemic panic is over. Let’s take this time to review our past.


Coronavirus – what do we know

Coronavirus threat

The first death from ‘the’ coronavirus has just been recorded in Western Australia First Australian death

The man was in the same hospital I was in last week. Am I panicking? No. In fact there is a great deal of somewhat confusing information about it, depending upon which source you read, listen to, or watch on TV.

About coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans.  In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

There is a lot more information at that site if you want to find out more.

How dangerous is this ‘new’ strain of coronavirus?

Simple answer…

Authorities say “we do not know enough yet and will not know until more data becomes available.”


One thing that seems clear is that over the years we have lost the knowledge, or motivation, to quarantine ourselves, or a disease. Once upon a time parents ‘quarantined’ a child with an infectious disease. In the past people refrained from attending church services if they suffered a severe cold or flu. Nowadays we are urged to take a pill and ‘soldier on.’ Most people have no choice due to economic constraints.

(I have written about quarantine before… https://www.susanprestonauthor.com/)

Coronavirus and face masks

The general consensus of opinion is that most of the facemasks available to the public to buy are ineffective. They are ‘surgical’ masks and designed to protect a patient from a nurse/medical worker’s mouth borne germs.

Coronavirus and facemasks

What CAN we do?

  • Be sensible.
  • Be considerate.
  • If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, stay home.
  • Be careful with your hand hygiene.
  • Avoid crowds

If you have a chronic health problem you are more ‘at risk’ so take the precautions seriously but don’t panic.

Plodding on,


About last week’s missing ‘post’ – I was in hospital. By the time I came home the five days of violent summer storms had started, and the computer was more ‘off’ than ‘on.’ In the last few days the NBN has been ‘down’ so I have a limited service, and no phone.

Volunteer firefighters and their value

volunteer firefighters at a bushfire

Volunteer firefighters are a necessary part of the community here in Australia.


Because bushfires in Australia are a part of life in the summer. They can be caused by

  • a lightning strike,
  • by peoples’ carelessness,
  • or by that most despicable of creatures… the firebug.

Lightning and firebugs

The first is unpredictable, and the second – I would prefer not to say anything other than what I called those people before… the most despicable of creatures.

There is a ‘profile ‘a serial firebug here… https://www.theage.com.au/national/profile-inside-the-mind-of-a-firebug-20080113-ge6lnh.html

Our part: If we see something suspicious, call the police

approach of bushfite
(c) Christy-Lee Williams, 2019; Used by permission


Are you a smoker? Have you ever thrown away a cigarette and stood on it to put it out? They don’t always go out.

On a city street, chances are they will only be litter.

Annoying but they probably do not cause damage. In the bush though the smallest bit of heat can smolder and start a fire.

Unchecked it could become an inferno.

See last week’s post on how far the embers travel in advance of a fire.
Australia Burns

What about camping in the bush?

Ever done that? If it is in the period of a total fire ban, do you obey it? Do you even know about total fire bans and what they mean?

Even if there is not a total fire ban in place, if you cook where you are camping do you make sure any fire, or BBQ is completely out before you move away?

There are many ways to be careless when walking in the bush, all of us need to be aware of our actions… and the possible consequences.

Our part: Learn the rules and keep them.

By the way, the bush can be a small patch of bushland between suburbs. I remember a few years ago when a college and the college residences were under threat from a bushfire. There was a patch of bushland one side of the road, burning. The fire jumped the road and came perilously close to some of the college residences. The cause? A homeless man had been camping in the patch of bush.

Another type of carelessness

The people who do not move out of the way of emergency vehicles. Do you know there are rules about giving way to emergency vehicles – and penalties for not keeping those rules?


Then there is another kind… but is it carelessness or selfishness? The spectators who want to watch the drama unfold.

These people put themselves in the way of the firefighters, hampering them, and in many cases putting their own lives at risk. Watch it on TV. The media, who have permission to be there, know the rules and the conditions of the fire scene. They keep those rules, or if they don’t, will not be allowed at the next fire scene.

Our part: Keep out of the way, let the people do their jobs.

It is difficult enough for them without dealing with ignorance or selfishness.

One of the volunteer firefighters

Volunteer firefighter after her shift
(c) copyright. Christy-Lee Williams, 2019; Used by permission

What if this was your daughter?

Or son, boyfriend, father, mother, girlfriend, husband or wife. They risk their lives to save the properties of others. In some instances a firefighter has lost his/her own home while off saving the property of others. It has happened here in Western Australia… and, I guess, many other places.

From an article by the wife of a volunteer firefighter…

“I wonder if the Prime Minister has considered what would happen if the volunteers just decided not to go. Or what will happen when they are all exhausted, worn down, emotionally frayed and unable to go back. Of course they will have already gone back several times after they reach this point because there is nobody else to go.”
Used with permission. Full article here… https://smarterthancrows.wordpress.com/2019/12/10/no-scott-morrison-my-husband-does-not-want-to-be-fighting-fires-this-summer/?fbclid=IwAR2r_-Nj51JlLPXbfnqAzFmoCtinFVhDYDBDFHAVOXgnSfK_Cq9NKw9_qLs

She also mentions the reality all the family and friends of the firefighters face… the firefighter might not come home.

And that happened last week.

Two volunteer firefighters killed while fighting fires

This was in New South Wales, not here in Western Australia. However, most of us mourn over the cost they paid to be volunteers.


They were men with young children.

And if it is true that the Prime Minister said that they could choose not to go…

All I want to say is there would be little of Australia left without volunteer firefighters. These people have a sense of responsibility and community that would put many of our politicians to shame.

Fire truck and approaching bush fire
(c) copyright Christy-Lee Williams 2019; Used by permission

When I asked Christy about the time of day the pictures were taken, here is her reply…

“i went out there the first day (2.30-11.30) and again the second day (8.30 am – 8.30pm) so its both night and day”

Christy is a nineteen year old girl, she’s been doing this for four years that I remember. Her brother is also a volunteer firefighter. They follow the path set by their parents.

These are the heroes we should respect. Allow them to do their jobs… it may be YOUR home they protect next.

Bushfires are again devastating several States, and firefighters are exhausted.

Our part: Pray for them, and their families.


Note: All images in this post are copyright photographs taken by Christy-Lee Williams 2019 and are used by permission.

Australia Burns

Bushfires in Australia

The fires in Australia started in New South Wales in the Eastern States in September. (Not quite summer time.) Then it was Queensland’s turn. Other States have had fire emergencies since, but New South Wales is still burning, and there is an active on-going fire emergency in Western Australia.

In both these States temperatures continue to climb, and in Western Australia wind changes pose a dangerous hazard.

List of States and their fires can be found here… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_Australian_bushfire_season

In Western Australia

Aside from the fact I live there, (although not near the fire zones) the adult grandchildren of a friend are volunteer firefighters, and have been involved in fighting these blazes. So, for me, praying for the firefighters has a personal face. I know these young people, although I pray for all firefighters, but particularly Christy and her brother.

When this fire started I was in hospital and saw on the news about the petrol station exploding in the blaze. Roads were blocked by the police as the nearby housing estates were too much of a risk to access.

Some of the nurses had homes in the affected areas and unable to contact husbands/family members. Consequently they were able to leave their shifts and go.

Evacuation centres were set up, police went door to door in suburbs under threat, telling people to evacuate immediately.

There is another side to the fact Australia is burning


  • Crops have burned,
  • There are animal losses,
  • Devastation for the already stretched and depressed farmers and their families.
Price rise for bread in Australia

We might complain about the increased costs, and we have already seen some price rises. The price of bread rose by 15cents a loaf last week but we might as well get used to it because grain products will only be one aspect of the shortages.


Some of the images from the fires in New South Wales and Queensland showed burned, or starving animals.

A report I read about the drought in the Eastern States (prior to the fires) told of a farmer having to perform a Caesarean section surgery on his cows who were too weak to give birth.


I Am Fire

 This is the best ‘prepare for fire’ plan advertisement I have seen. A short version here…


The one I saw mentioned how far ahead of the actual blaze embers would travel and start new blazes.

The advert asks ‘Do you have a plan?” While I do not live in a bushfire zone, my home could lose power if a fire affected an electricity sub-station. Therefore, yes, I have a plan. I have to have a plan because a loss of power also means the loss of the oxygen machine that keeps me alive.


Life in Australia is more than dangerous insects and animals… and snakes etc.

An Australian summer brings with it bushfires, and it seems each year is worse than the previous one.

It looks as if the fires in California are now contained or out, but yes., I am aware Australia is not the only place where there are annual, devastating fires.

So, we would all do well to be aware of the consequences of our actions.


Giving up Is Taking Over and What to Do About It

lost and giving up

Giving up might be easy. Do you have the courage to keep going? It does take courage to keep walking through your trials, or turn back and seek help.

Clearly, many do give up, the suicide statistics in Australia alone are food for thought.


Is giving up really taking over our world?

If so… how can we counter this negative trend?

Make your own trend, but look to the past as well as the future.

Some thought I should just give in gracefully and die rather than go on oxygen. Well, it might have saved a tiny bit of money for the government but I believe I still have something to give.

My book ‘Living at the end of an Oxygen Tube’ would never have been written, and even although not released yet, it has led to some interesting conversations. It is my hope that not only does it help people who are prescribed home oxygen, but also those who care for them. It might surprise you to discover the changes and challenges someone on oxygen has to make.  Although, I have to admit, it is quite amusing at times… especially when tangled in the oxygen tube.

Then the fourth novella in the companion series to the Apostle John Series books would not be published. (Getting close.)

So, what does looking back achieve?

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Romans 15:4 ESV

Giving up was not the way these people handled adversity

Joseph, favorite son of his father Jacob had many opportunities to give up. His half-brothers’ jealousy escalated to such a degree they put him in a pit and were going to kill him.

What was going through Joseph’s mind?

Instead, Joseph was sold to spice merchants on their way to Egypt. There the spice merchants sold him as a slave. (Read the story in Genesis 37:12-35)

Moses could have thrown up his hands in defeat many times, as he led the often-rebellious children of Israel through the wilderness.

I look at the lives of the prophets, and sigh at what they went through… without giving up.

Jumping forward in time…

Did the Apostles think of giving up?

History says all but one were martyred, and the Apostle Paul mentions his many trials.

For those of us who have Christian faith, where would our faith be without the record they left us.

When researching for the Apostle John Series I was awed at what the early Christians endured. Some went to the arena; others were tortured, enslaved, or burnt as torches for Nero’s parties.

In many cases Christians could have escaped persecution by the simple act of taking a pinch of incense, tossing it the fire at an statue of Caesar, and saying, ‘Caesar is Lord.’ That would have broken the first commandment, and most chose to suffer the penalty.

We have not been called to such challenges, but we have, and do, experience other overwhelming difficulties at times.

a desperate prayer

Back to the suicide figures

More people than would like to admit have, at some point in their lives contemplated suicide. From the figures in Australia alone, many have attempted to kill themselves.

Do we shrug and sigh, then continue on, or do we wonder what we could have done if someone we know succeeds in killing themselves?

It is a two-way street. The person desperate enough to want to give up needs to find the courage to talk about it. Easier said than done.

No one to trust.

There are crisis lines where a stranger will listen. This might be a solution for those wanting to give up.

One such organization says on its webpage, “Professionally trained counsellors have specialist skills in working with suicide-related issues and they can help you to work through the pain and distress you may be feeling.”

What can we do?

If we see signs of someone withdrawing, instead of ignoring it, we can ask, “Would you like to talk about what you are feeling?”

If that seems too threatening, how about “You seem to be having a difficult time, is there anything I can do to help?”

We need to be prepared to listen. We need to be non-judgmental. A person on the point of giving up on life sees life differently to your viewpoint. Allow them their viewpoint before offering alternative views.

Sadly, the times we live in are not conducive to quietly walking beside someone in distress. Our lives are so busy, and self-concerned we might not notice. We might be struggling ourselves, but guess what, helping someone else can help you see your own problems in a different light.

Not giving up, giving

Here, some flowers for you… pass them on.


Susan Preston was a trained Mental Health Nursing sister and worked at an outpatient community clinic. She has a great deal of experience in counselling and caring for people with mental health issues. (Some of this knowledge made its way into the books she has written.)

Honor – Who or What Do YOU honor?

Don't wait till they are dead to honor them

Who or what DO you honor? This is the Easter long weekend. I know some families will have ‘the knock.’
You open the door and there is a police officer (or two) standing there. ‘The knock’ for my husband and I came at four in the morning.  Our son was not an Easter fatality, but the knock is the same horrifying reality for all who have experienced it.

There will be more fatalities during this time than at most other times of the year. “Drivers are urged to take extra care over the next few days with the Easter long weekend historically proving a dangerous one for fatal accidents.” 

Do we honor the road rules?

It would seem not. Queensland had a horror start to the Easter long weekend.

  • Police are concerned at the number of people who continue to drink-drive with 44 people charged on day one
  • 275 roadside drug tests were carried out on Thursday with 44 drivers testing positive to illegal substances.
  • 2,858 drivers were clocked by speed cameras going over the limit, while another 390 speeding fines were handed out by Police.
  • 29 people were busted using their mobile phones behind the wheel while 31 fines were handed out for seat belt offences.

Across Australia, road deaths were already being recorded on Friday morning.

Do we honor our families?

Going by the Queensland statistics it would seem not. Most other States will have similar statistics,

What do those statistics speak of?

  • Selfishness
  • Disregard for the law
  • Lack of love for their families
  • Thoughtlessness
  • ‘It will never happen to me’

Unless someone sets out to deliberately murder another person, the answer fits somewhere in one of those categories.

Nevertheless, the result is the same. Deep hurt, unbelievable sorrow, guilt, emotional pain.  There are only a few pathetically inadequate words to attempt to describe the reaction to ‘the knock.’

honor before, not after death

‘Honor your father and mother’ is one of the Ten Commandments. Well, not only younger people have parents, so do grown-up children. The command to honor parents applies as long as the parents are alive.

Also children who are parents should think of their children.

Do you want your child/children to grow up fatherless or motherless?

Most people do not want that, many never think of the consequences, or realize this is what they are risking.

All of us need to be more ‘thinking’ people.

Allow me to tell you about the last night with our son.

Before 'the knock.’

It was a warm summer evening, and our son who had been through a dreadful week, was in a happier mood. His friend, who had recently passed his driving test, was coming to pick him up and they were going out.

Jim, (not his real name) hugged his Dad and I, and went out to meet his friend who waited at the end of our driveway. His father followed him part way, delighted that Jim seemed to have survived the terrible week.

“Dad,” Jim called, and his father went closer. “Look, a bird has fallen out of this small tree.” He looked down at the bird, and said, “It looks as if it cannot fly. Will you take it and put it in one of the trees in the backyard where it will be safer?”

Carefully taking the bird, a dove,  my husband saw it was indeed injured, and smiled. Not many teenagers were so kind and tenderhearted. Most would have walked past the bird on the ground, some not even noticing.

That was the last time we saw him alive.

After 'the knock’

We went through the same horror many others have suffered and are suffering.

Shock, horror, disbelief, guilt, wishing it was a nightmare and we would wake up and Jim would be back home. In all honesty, I can think of no words to describe the feelings that threatened to overwhelm us, not only then… but for a long time after.

honor road rules

You might not like the police, your parents, the rules, but believe this…
The rules are there for protection, not to make your life difficult.

Please, honor those who love you.

Obey the rules – and THINK.

With love


With heartfelt empathy for all who are walking this path, wherever you are on your journey.

Posted early in the hope it will save someone answering ‘the knock.’