Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Special Message for My Dad's Siblings

One of the challenges about missing a loved one is dealing with situations that remind you of your loss.  Reading my memoir may cause some pain as you remember your brother.  For those of you in the blog world, this book may tug at your heart as you recall loved ones who left this world.

My intent in this memoir is not to cause you anguish, but rather to highlight how one's life can bring joy to those around him or her, even when that person is facing impossible odds, like terminal cancer.

May this book remind you just how much my dad loved each one of you.  I'm proud to belong to such a special family.  Your signed copy will be in the mail soon.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Out of the Comfort Zone

There is something safe about daily routines.  For me, the highlights are the Wednesday night tennis sessions and the weekend practices.  This week, everything changes.  I am on the road again, helping out with our Las Vegas Zoom Autos Magazine.  It's a sacrifice to give up my tennis when I'm on the road, however, my partners need me to get this city on track.

Is there something in your life you are avoiding because it's outside your comfort zone?  What rewards are you missing out on because you refuse to stretch yourself?  Are you afraid to fail?

Think back to your childhood when you climbed on a bike for the first time without training wheels.  Remember those falls?  Did you give up?  What about the first time you ventured into the deep end in the swimming pool?  Was it scary?

I believe daily routines are important.  Don't forget to add something to your schedule that will challenge you to grow.  There are no rewards without risk.  Go ahead, take a chance.  If you happen to fall, recognize it's just part of the process.  Get back up, dust yourself off, and try again.  Don't stop until you cross the finish line.  You can do it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Step by Step

The question most often asked these days about my book is, "how did you do it?"

The answer is surprisingly simple, "Step by step, one day at a time."  I stopped doing all the activities that were unimportant and made writing my top priority.  The only one up at 5:00 am in my household besides me is my wife.  While she is preparing for work, I am hand-writing her love letter, followed by blog writing.  Once those two priorities are complete, I use the remaining morning time to work on the book.

Now that the book is complete, my efforts are focused on reaching out to friends to promote the author talk and book signing.  The marketing ideas keep popping into my head and each day I develop them, little by little, to prepare for the big day.

In the past, there were so many times when I told people, "I'm not a writer."  Now, I must re-program my brain and convince myself that I AM a published author.  Looking at my proof copy, I feel astonished.  It's amazing what you can accomplish when you take things step by step.

My tennis team is now eleven days away from our big match.  We are vying for the north county league championships.  Once again, we got here because we made a commitment to set big goals and then worked hard to practice and improve, step by step.

What is it in your life that you want to accomplish?  Make a decision today to just do it and make sure to eliminate all the distractions in your way.  Do a little bit every day, step by step.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Birth Announcement

This baby memoir is eleven days old today and it's time to celebrate.  Several of my writer friends will join me at the book signing.  You are invited to stop by to meet us and pick up some autographed copies.

Don't forget to bring a used book to donate to the library.  Your donation will give you a discount on any books you pick up at the author signing.  Don't forget your camera, you may be the lucky winner who gets published.  In addition to the photo contest, three winners will have their essay published on this site and get a chance to be published in one of our local newspapers.

Become a follower of this blog and get a chance to win a free autographed copy of "God's Black Sheep Squadron."

I look forward to meeting you at the book signing from 9am to 11am on April 16th at the new library.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Essay Contest

Ever dream of seeing your work published?  Four lucky winners will become published as part of my campaign to promote my new book and call attention to Ramona's new library.  I realize that some of you are too far away to visit at my first book signing.  That's okay, you can still join in on the fun online.  Here's how it works:

Contest Rules

1.  Write an essay sharing why you feel reading and/or writing is important.  Describe what it's like when you read a book or how you feel when you compose a poem, short story, memoir or novel.  If you are thinking about becoming a writer, you can write an essay about why you want to be an author.  Share your thoughts on how you plan to use the new library if you live in my community.

2.  Please limit your entry to 500 words.  Your entry must be typed.  Your parents can help you with this if you don't know how to type yet.

3.  There will be three categories for writing and one for picture taking.  Groups will be divided by elementary school, high school/college, and adult.  Each winner will become "published" on this blog and have a chance to be published in the local newspaper.  The winner in the photo category will become a "published photo journalist."  You will see your picture on this blog and maybe in one of our local papers.

4.  Submit your entry by email to:

Type this in the subject section:  Ramona Essay Contest or Ramona Photo Contest.

Type:  Submitted by (include your name, email, and category).

Photo entries should be sent as attachments with your name and return email.

5.  Guidelines for photo entries:  Please submit a photo from the book signing, a picture of you reading your favorite book, or a picture of you and your family using the new library.

6.  At the bottom of your email, make sure to give me permission to publish your essay or photo if you are a winner.  I will also publish your name if you give me permission.

7.  The DEADLINE for submitting your entry by email is 6:00 pm, Monday, April 18th.

Special prizes will be announced at the book signing for winners in each category.  You do not need to be present at the book signing to be eligible.  Thank you for helping me promote reading and writing and good luck in the contest.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The First Review of My Book

One of the Angels in the Outfield requested a proof copy for review.  Outside of my family and members of the critique group, she was the first person to read my memoir, cover to cover.  I'm delighted to report positive feedback and look forward to passing out autographed copies at the book signing event on April 16th.

I must admit that when "Mamma Mulligan" gave her nod of approval, I felt relieved.  Parents are great at encouraging their children, making them feel like they can conquer the world.  I needed to have someone outside the family share their thoughts on this book to get an untainted opinion.

The review that will count most is yours.  If you are in a situation where a loved one is terminally ill or if you have ever lost someone close to you, my hope is that our family experiences will help you deal with all the emotions you are feeling.  My father had a way of touching lives, especially in his final days.  May this memoir leave you with a feeling that no matter how difficult life may be, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friends of the Library

Ellie Slade, branch manager for the new Ramona library, shared her vision for our community the other day during our conversation about my book signing event.  This new library will be an asset to our community, not because of it's grandeur, but because of the people who staff it.

Youngsters gathered for story time, led by Ellie.  When they were done, they headed off to the community room to make crafts.  Small groups gathered in meeting rooms within the library while others worked in the computer room.

I got the opportunity to meet with volunteers from the "friends of the library" and they shared their passion for inspiring others to read.

"We encourage children to bring in their old books and turn them in for a new one," one volunteer said.

"Others come in to volunteer a couple of hours cleaning or doing whatever needs to be done to help out."

I will do my part by promoting this special group of committed citizens.  As you do your Spring cleaning, consider donating your old books to the library.  Any donated books sold at the book store bring added funds to the library, helping them to initiate new programs which benefit our community.

Stop in and check out the new library and add your name to the friends of the library.  If you are interested in picking up an autographed copy of my book on April 16th, from 9am to 11am, make sure you bring a used book to donate and you will get a discount.  Other Ramona writers will be with me, offering autographs for their creative works.  Hope to see you at the book signing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Never Give Up

What do you do when you hit a roadblock? It's so easy to give up.  You see the obstacle in front of you and start to rationalize why it's better to walk away.  How many times do you try to get through it before giving up?

Allow me to share one idea to help you bust through that roadblock in front of you.  It's a simple technique, visualization.  Imagine yourself on the other side of the hurdle.  You beat it, you broke through.  Now, look at how happy you are.  Contemplate how it feels to be on the other side of the challenge.

I faced a situation this week that needed perseverance.  It has to do with my first book signing.  I hit a roadblock on my first visit to the new library, my top choice for the book launch.  I already knew the decision maker's name, however, she is not easy to reach.

"She's in a meeting," the librarian said.  "You can leave your name and number."

I wrote my name down and mentioned who referred me, the lady in charge of raising the money for the new library.  I thought this would be a great attention getter.  Well, no phone call.  Hence, a second visit the next day.  This time, I got the number two person in charge since number one was in the middle of a VIP tour.  I left my number a second time, explaining the urgency of my needs.  Bummer, no call back.

So, did I give up and go with an alternate site?  The only problem with that is my vision for the book release is so strong in my mind that the alternate choice just doesn't have the same appeal.  I am MOTIVATED to overcome my fear of rejection and go back a third day in a row.

Yesterday was the third visit.

"She's reading to the kids and will be done shortly," an employee said.  "If you can wait a few minutes, maybe you can say hi."

I approached Ellie, excited to finally get a chance to reserve a room for the book release.

"Your messages are on my desk.  I've been rather busy, sorry I didn't get back to you.  Besides, I'm not sure about your book.  It's about God, right?"

"It's a family memoir, a story of a long lost father who returns home while battling cancer."

"Come into my office and let's talk."

I spent the next forty-five minutes learning all about Ellie's plans for the new library and she offered some great ideas on how my writers group can team up with her.  She walked me over to the book store and introduced me to some volunteers from the "Friends of the Library," a passionate team of people who support reading.

I walked out of the library excited to know that I would be the first writer doing a book signing at the brand new facility.  It took three visits to secure the venue.  Now I can prepare for a fun time sharing my memoir with my community.

My proof copies arrived late yesterday and my daughter, Nicole, dropped the package off during my tennis practice.  Three of my team-mates are reading the proof copies now, helping me with error corrections.

Tomorrow I will submit the corrections and order the book for distribution at the book signing on April 16th.  Please join me from 9am to 11am at the Ramona Library, 1275 Main St, Ramona, and bring a used book to donate.  Your donation will entitle you to a discount at the book signing. 

There is a fine line between being a nuisance and an assertive go-getter.  I have learned to walk this line as a business owner operating in difficult times.  How would you like to call on someone twenty times before getting the desired outcome?  This is common in my line of work.  I find it necessary to get creative in order to get past the sentry guarding the entry way.  Never give up!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Proof Copy Arrives Today

My favorite part of the publishing business is promoting. It's my chance to connect with people all over the world as I set up my distribution network.  CreateSpace is an amazing company to work with.  Their ties to parent company,, make my job easy.

The next step in the process involves setting up a new website,, for customers so they can order autographed copies directly from me.  I will turn on the online ordering at once my Angels in the Outfield receive their copies at the the author signing on April 16th.

Cynthia and Alex Nieto, cover designers for my memoir, will put together a promotional trailer for use in marketing.  As I network with other writers, I plan to spread the word about their creative talent and help get them some freelance work.

Once the one hundred Angel in the outfield spots are sold out, I will post all names and quotes on this blog.  There is still time to join the Angels and get a collector's copy of "God's Black Sheep Squadron."  Email your favorite inspirational quote TODAY(email: and then mail your $25 donation to:

Mike Mulligan
4360 Viewridge, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92065

Check back tomorrow for more information about the book signing in Ramona.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Library Opens in Ramona

Yesterday, I stopped in at the new library in my hometown inquiring about a book signing event.  What an amazing spectacle!  The 19,400 square foot building was full of people using computers to do online research and volunteers guiding visitors.  It will be the perfect location for my first author signing.  My writers group will sit with me and autograph copies of their work.

My calendar is filling up due to the League Tennis Championships on April 9th and the Las Vegas WTT Tennis Invitational April 29th through May 1st.  The best day for me to be available for the book signing is Saturday, April 16th at 9:00 am.  If the library cannot host on that day, I will select an alternate site as I want to get this book out to my Angels in the outfield as soon as possible. My proof copy arrives tomorrow, the final step in the order process.  Once I sign off on the proof, I will be ordering the books for the book signing.

Here is a picture of the new library, my first choice for the venue.  I salute my friend, Joan Gansert, for leading the team that raised over $1 million dollars in private funds and persuaded the county to allocate another $11.6 million for this awesome edifice.  The timing couldn't be better for my book signing, as the library, located at 1275 Main St, just opened on February 8th.

Ramona library now open. If all goes well, this will be the site for my first book signing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Welcome to my high school friends from SHS

I haven't seen many of my high school friends since the ten year reunion in 1988.  At the time of the reunion,  I was engaged and planning our wedding. The following year, we moved to California and started a family.  Now, over thirty years since high school graduation, I am finding my friends on FaceBook and reconnecting.

Perhaps one of the greatest joys is connecting with my buddies from "Snora" Ehlers Spanish class.  Like the inner circle of friends I have on my Ramona tennis team, this peer group was special for me during my four years in high school.

Snora's daughter was part of that group.  I found her and several other high school friends on FaceBook yesterday.  Now, I will be able to send a copy of my memoir to my favorite high school teacher and any of my buddies who want to know more about this caveman's life after high school.

In Spanish class, we all had nicknames.  I was "Miguelito Salton," the jumping Mike, named after a novel we read in class, "El Frijolito Salton," which means, the jumping bean.  One of my buddies saw me jumping around on the tennis courts and gave me this name since there was no translation for "Mulligan."

My friends were Chispas (Sparks), Casa (House), Pechas (Breast), Jaxon (Jackson), Mecha (Wick), Tinas (Tubbs), Retrete (Potty...close enough to Patti), Rita Chulita, Pequena E, and Beto.  We spent four years together learning Spanish and mangling it during our "platicas," or conversations.  I still laugh remembering some of our skits.

Congrats to Sunnyslope High School for winning it's second state championship in basketball.  I hope all is well with my buddies and look forward to reconnecting.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's Party Time

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

Last night, my wife and I attended a St. Patrick's Day Dinner and Dance with two of my sisters and my mother. We were the last to arrive as it was a spontaneous decision and my pastor signaled for us to join him at his table. There was so much laughter and fun, a stark contrast to living in the cave during my book writing adventure.

I asked my friend, Joan, about getting in to the new library for a book signing event, most likely on a Saturday. She was the chairman of the committee responsible for raising the funds and bringing the library to our town. It just opened last month.

"The library is buzzing with activity and it will be a great venue for your book signing. You will need to book a slot right away," she said.

"I want to invite all my writer friends to the party and have them autograph books with me," I said.

I will be in contact with the staff on Monday and will reserve a day for our celebration. Check back here for more details.

If you haven't reserved your autographed copy and would like a collector's copy, send me an email. There are some limited copies available for the Angels in the outfield. Just let me know how you would like your book signed.

Email me for details at

See you at the party.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Response to an Email about God's Existence

My tennis team is preparing for the north county league championship on April 9th.  After completing our season undefeated with an impressive 21 wins and 0 losses in match play, we face another undefeated team for the overall north county bragging rights.

One of the players on my team has agreed to debate me on my blog with "point-counterpoint."  He is much smarter than me and loves to have "spirited" discussions about religion.  We are worlds apart as far as our beliefs.

I responded this morning to my friend's email he sent to my team yesterday concerning God.  Since my friend has previously agreed to debate me here, I am posting my email response for my readers in order to officially introduce Mr. "Counterpoint."

Unfortunately for my readers, his business start-up is consuming all of his time and he is not yet able to appear on "point-counterpoint."

Here is my email response for your review.  Feel free to comment or email me with questions.  Hopefully, my friend will be appearing here soon.  Enjoy:

Mikey's response to O:

Let me begin by saying I know you are much smarter than me and I am no match for
a battle of wits. You are well educated and have an amazing perspective as an
immigrant, the foundation of this great country. The question I pose is, "who
will be the winner of this challenge you have thrown down?"

In my humble opinion, there are winners and losers, it's a choice given to us as
human beings, created in the image of an all-powerful, all-knowing and
all-loving God. We are not robots who are forced to behave a certain way or
worship in a controlled fashion.

Your statement that God knows what's in my book is correct. I will go a step
further and add that God knew what was in the book before he made you and me.
He knew some would choose to follow Him while others denied His very existence.

Part of the problem I see here has to do with a third group, those who believe
there IS a God, however, choose NOT to follow Him. They believe they are more
powerful than God and want others to follow them. They are clever. Somehow,
they have splintered believers into thousands of separate groups, each one
believing they have all the right answers. In other situations, they have
convinced humans there can't be a God because the world is full of evil and a
REAL God would not allow this.

I disagree with this and so does your fellow countryman, Rene Descartes, who
once wrote, "Cogito ergo sum." Descartes loved a good fight and challenged
everything, even the belief that he actually existed. I wrote a college paper
on the existence of evil using some of his ideas.

I think both of us agree that evil exists in the world, correct? So, the next
question is, "where does evil come from?" You argue that evil's existence
trumps any notion there is a God, because God would not allow innocent people to
be hurt or killed. The Evil One has been very good at tricking people into
believing there is no evil. All you have to do is look around and you see evil
everywhere. Agree?

So, you and I are thinking, therefore, we exist. We see evil in the world, so we
agree evil is present. Right?

That leaves one more piece of the puzzle....God. Does He exist? If He does, is
He all-powerful, all-loving, and all-knowing?

For the sake of our discussion, let's say, "no, He does not exist."

If this is true, then, when you and I die, it's all over...done. Poof, we are
done. End of story.

Now, let's say, "yes, there is a God." Let's say that everything we know about
Jesus is true....He is God who became man. He came to die for you and me
because our ancestors decided to turn away from God and do things their way.
God loves us so much that He sent His only son to die for us so that a door
could be opened for us to go back to the Father. I can't think of any greater
love than to die for another or to create a creature with the power of free
will. To create a robot that is forced to follow God is not an act of love. To
create a human with the ability to accept God or walk away, that's true love.

So, if there is a God, and He created us with free will....what happens when we
die? If we accept that Jesus conquered death, we can believe death has no power
over us, hence, we have eternal life.

The last question is "how do I want to spend my eternity? With God or without
God? It's your choice. I don't think it's working out too well for the angels
who went out on their own. The real battle is now centered on you.

I am willing to bet you $1 that God exists. If He doesn't, you can go spend
your dollar and gloat over your victory knowing that eventually you will get
old, sick and die. Then it's all over.

If He does exist and you accept Him, we can spend eternity together on other
subjects. If He does exist and you choose not to follow Him, I still get my
dollar why you spend your eternity in a "warm weather" climate. The rest of us
will miss you dearly.

Do you want to wager one dollar on the existence of God?

See you on the courts.

By the way, I am posting this on this mornings blog. I will leave your name out
to protect your privacy and this gives me the opportunity to kill two birds with
one stone.

Have a great day!


Friday, March 18, 2011


For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.  He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance! ~ Acts 28:30-31

The acts of the apostles ends triumphantly as Paul boldly proclaims the kingdom of God, teaching Jews and Gentiles alike about Jesus. Even though he is awaiting trial, he already knows that he will be undefeated.

Since inviting Jesus into my heart, I have learned the same lesson Paul taught the first followers of Jesus, there are no obstacles that can thwart God's will.   Noah understood this when he followed God's boat building instructions. Moses recognized this when he was backed into a corner and the only way out was to trust God, raise his arms, and part the Red Sea. Young David believed all he needed was a sling and a pebble to bring down Goliath.  His enemies knew David was coming and they believed he was unstoppable.  They were right.

In my own life, I celebrate each day knowing God is with me. I no longer worry about the obstacles no matter how great they are. Each victory I proclaim is for God's glory. This blog is merely an account of all the good Jesus is doing in my life.

Today I celebrate the biggest victory to date in my own life, the release of “God's Black Sheep Squadron.” My proof copy will arrive early next week. Once it is reviewed, I will be ordering the first one hundred copies to be signed and delivered to my Angels in the outfield. God has already put the words in my heart to share at the author signing party. The keyword is “undefeated.” Anyone who is in Christ can have what I have.

As David marched to foreign lands and wiped out every enemy in his path, I plan to do the same with my life, using love as my weapon, turning foes into followers of Jesus. There are lost sheep all over the planet who seek a solution for their troubled lives. My friends, I have found that solution in Jesus. 

There was much concern in my family the day I announced the creation of a small company that would compete with a multibillion-dollar monopoly. Most of those close to me thought I was crazy. Six years later, the enemy has retreated from the battlefield and my partners and I boldly expand our business into the void they left behind when they departed.

My tennis teammates and I just completed an undefeated season.  We accumulated twenty-one wins and zero losses during the regular season and now move on to the north county championships in April.  People ask me what separates us from the other teams.  I am quick to respond that there is someone special living in my heart, someone who faced death and conquered it.  Every victory I declare in my life is through Him, Jesus, my Savior.  I love sharing Him with my team-mates.  Here is a picture we shot earlier this week.  It will accompany the story appearing in our local paper.  Thank you, Jesus, for leading me.  I declare each victory in your name, on and off the courts, and I thank God for bringing each of them into my life.

Front row: Larry; Row two, left to right, Tori, Teri, Corri, Olivier, Stacey (team captain),Shelley; Row three, Jim, Mike, me, Chris and Dave

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Drum Roll Please...It's Here at Last

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


I am pleased to announce the new Mulligan baby in my family.  It's a.....memoir.  The collector's copies will be shipped to my hometown in Ramona for autographs once I sign off on the proof copy from CreateSpace, a subsidiary of  Several book signings will be announced in the weeks ahead.  Bookmark this site and come back for more details and a chance to meet the other talented writers who will be displaying their books at the author signings.  We have been so blessed in my hometown to have so many talented writers. 

Collector's copies will be autographed and distributed to the Angels in the Outfield first, ahead of the general public as a special thank you for all the prayers and encouragement.  Thank you for your patience.  I will be setting up a link on this site soon so that orders may be placed directly at discounted prices.  This memoir will also be available soon at

If you are one of the Angels in the outfield and have not already paid, please send your $25 donation to:

Mike Mulligan,
4360 Viewridge Ave, Suite B,
San Diego , CA 92123

Please send instructions on how you would like me to autograph your collector's copy.  Please include your address.  You can still get a specially numbered collector's copy while supplies last by emailing me at:

Thanks to all who made this special day possible.   Please contact me if you would like me to speak to your group or if you are interested in holding a book signing event.  There are some talented writers in my hometown that will be happy to join me if you would like to sponsor a book signing party.

The video below summarizes my thoughts about today's miraculous birth.  I can't wait to share this memoir with you. 

I wanted to wish my daughter, Nicole, a happy 18th birthday today and my Zoom partners a happy 6th birthday.  My father, Patrick O'Mulligan, is rejoicing with Jesus today as we Irish celebrate a most awesome day. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just For You

Please mark you calendar for November 4th, 5th and 6th, 2011 and make plans to share a life-changing experience with me and several of my close friends.  For the first time ever, this special event is open to the general public.  Regardless of the label you put on yourself, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Unitarian, Agnostic, or even Atheist, I invite you to spend a weekend discovering who you are in God's eyes and how you fit in to His plans for you.

When my friend, Tony, stood up in front of my congregation with his wife by his side sharing how he became a better husband and father because of attending this event, I was hooked and decided to see for myself what this weekend was all about.

People ask me what motivated my father to return home after so many years separated from his family.  I believe my dad was attracted to the light I discovered during the weekend.  Dad was learning all about Jesus in the Bible his sister gave him.  Now he was ready to know Him. My pastor shared some highlights of the weekend with my father when he visited him one week before dad left this world.

Jesus promises when you seek Him you will find Him.  My life has never been the same since I first experienced this incredible weekend. Come experience Jesus the way His first followers experienced Him. 

Don't forget to bookmark this site and come back tomorrow.  My first book will be released. You will be able to order an autographed copy right here starting on March 17th.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The American Dream

Most of us take for granted what we have in America.  People from all over the world dream about living here.  A CEO from a large company goes undercover to see an immigrant living the dream.  Check out the video below so see his heart-warming story.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Deciphering God's Plans

There is only one way the puzzle of your life fits together.  When you work on a jigsaw puzzle, some pieces look like they go together.  Upon closer inspection, you discover a mismatch.  You need to keep working, finding the right connections until that last piece is in place, revealing the complete picture.

So it is with God's grand design for your life. Once the last pieces of my life's puzzle are put in place, I can see clearly what God wants from me.  That first seed He planted about starting a blog seemed crazy at the time.  Now it is the backbone, reaching to every country in the world, including places where access to God is limited by censorship and dictators force their own beliefs on those seeking the truth.

A recent storm dumped twenty three inches of snow on the mountain near my home attracting large numbers of visitors to the Devil's Punchbowl, a ninety foot waterfall located in the Cleveland National Forest bordering my neighborhood.  The final scene in my book takes place at a meadow nearby these spectacular falls.  God has placed the photo I shot of the falls in the first position of the Google images attracting over a thousand curious visitors to my blog.  They were searching for directions and "accidentally" found this obscure blog.

I wrote the final chapter of my book BEFORE the freak storm came.  It was complete BEFORE the channel 10 helicopter flew to the site showing the meadow where the final climax of the story takes place.  God created the big picture before He created me.  Then, He cut up the puzzle into thousands of pieces and hid them from me, giving me a lifetime to figure out His masterpiece.  At last, it makes sense.  His Holy Word is the owner's manual.   Instructions are scattered from Genesis to Revelations.  Anyone who seeks the truth can find Him.  I am a simple person and I found Him.  My job now is to help you see the big picture.  YOU are the missing piece of the puzzle.  It's almost complete.  Jesus is returning, SOON.  Will you be there to meet Him?  The puzzle won't be complete unless you become a part of it.  Time is running out.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pre-Launch Jitters

  Many, LORD my God,
   are the wonders you have done,
   the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
   were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
   they would be too many to declare. ~ Psalm 40:5

My thoughts today are about the final days Jesus was with His followers before Judas turned him over to the roman soldiers.  He spent most of His time in prayer and invited the apostles to do the same.  It was a lonely time for Him.  His followers preferred sleep to prayer and Judas chose money over fellowship.

I have a feeling that Jesus had more than a few butterflies in His stomach.  He understood that His Father had a plan for Him and this plan called for anguish.  Jesus saw the big picture.  He saw new life for the world.  He saw past the troubles that were ahead.  He trusted His Father and remained obedient.

I am ready to leave the cave.  My time of separation from friends and family members is coming to a conclusion.  Yes, I have pre-launch jitters.  I don't know how my future is to unfold.  The final chapters of my memoir have been written, yet God is already showing me that this is only the beginning of His plans for me.  There is only one thing I know for certain about my future.  I am to help you on YOUR journey.  The other ninety nine already belong to Him.  YOU are the One He is looking for.  He sent me out into the darkness to find you and bring you home.  If you are reading this and you feel lost, help is on the way.  If you are part of the ninety nine that already belong to Him, please, hold the gate open until I return and keep praying.  All of Heaven is waiting for these lost sheep to come home.  Some will need to be carried on my shoulders.  They are wounded and can no longer walk on their own.  They feel despair.  Pray for them.  The Father's attention is on them.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Soul Surfer Fights for Bible

Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack while surfing.  Months later, she returned to surfing and became a champion.  I plan to watch her movie, "Soul Surfer", when it's released.

Not only did Bethany overcome many obstacles to return to the waters, she also battled producers who edited out the words "Holy Bible" in one of the scenes featuring Bethany's dad reading to her in the hospital room.  Producers wanted to have this movie appeal to non-christians.

Carrie Underwood is also featured in the film.  Producers were okay with Carrie's inspirational comments as long as the source (the Holy Bible) was not disclosed.  Editing is a difficult task, especially if the people editing don't trust the source of Bethany's hope and inspiration.

Make sure you watch this movie and send a message to producers that these are the types of movies you want to see in the future.

Way to take a stand, Bethany.  I salute you!

Friday, March 11, 2011

What Will You Be Doing When You Are 92?

Ginger Rogers can still woo the crowds at the young age of 92.  In the video below, she is featured with her 29-year-old great-grandson. Don't let the slow start in the first minute fool you.  She is just warming up.  May Ginger inspire you to work on your fitness today, no matter how old or young you are...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Caveman Becomes a Published Photo Journalist

Return to thy house, and tell how great things God hath done to thee. And he went through the whole city, publishing how great things Jesus had done to him. And it came to pass, that when Jesus was returned, the multitude received him: for they were all waiting for him. ~ Luke 8:39-40

“You are now a published photojournalist,” Byron said as he complemented my snow pictures appearing in "East County Magazine," a local news outlet with an online presence (click here to see the pictures).

This is a view to the Devil's Punchbowl, the final scene in my book, to be published on March 17th, 2011

‘You have such a way with words,’ I said. It felt so good to see my pictures published. As good as that feeling is, it pales in comparison to how I feel about launching my first memoir. I consider it my most important life's work, the beginning of a ministry I am called to initiate.

The presence of so many lost sheep in my life is no accident. The light bulb has turned on for me and I see things differently while others still live in darkness. Some lived in the light in their younger years and then something happened causing the light to burn out.

My job is to help find the light switch and convince them to turn it back on. There are people around me who can help, however, some are afraid to come out of their comfort zones. I thank the Holy Spirit for taking that fear away from me and for giving me the opportunity to publish daily all the good that Jesus is doing in my life.

Any credit for becoming published goes to the Holy Spirit and all honor and glory goes to the Father, the One who watches out for all of us without fail.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

God's Deadlines

Jesus tells us, “My ways are not your ways.” My ways gave me a lot of trouble in the past. Thank God for His ways. Often times, His ways are hidden and it takes a lifetime to uncover His plans for you.

Not only is there a plan for you, there is also a deadline. You can't escape this deadline, the day your heart beats for the last time. You do have a choice. You can continue to do things your way or you can allow God to be in charge of your life. The closer you get to your deadline, the more you will recognize the futility in doing things your way.

If you feel your life is a mess, change it up. Try doing things God's way. Begin with a prayer. Ask him, “Lord, what are your plans for me?”

Once God shows you His plans, ask Him for the tools to get the job done. You have a deadline. With The Holy Spirit to assist you, you will make deadline. Why? Because God's ways and God's timing are perfect. He never misses His deadlines. He won't force you to do it His way, however, He is the One who wrote the owner's manual.  Your body, mind and spirit will flourish once you understand the meaning of your existence.  Refer to the owner's guide for instructions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cleared for Launch

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~ Isaiah 55:8-9

With the precision of NASA scientists, my Christian writers critique group is going through the final checklist for launch of “God's Black Sheep Squadron.” The extended forecast calls for a warm, sunny day, nine days from blastoff.

I have never birthed a book before. The process is exhilarating. I feel the same excitement I had leading up to the births of my three children, then felt it again when  Zoom was born early dawn on March 17th, 2005. St. Patrick's Day will be a trifecta for me since this book will share its birthday with Nicole, celebrating her 18th birthday, and Zoom,  turning six years old.

I promised my Zoom partners that I will not allow this book to get in the way of my work duties. The challenge is to manage my time properly so that I get quality time with my family while growing our business and nurturing this new little baby. I am hoping to share my experiences and my new book with target audiences that include churches and other groups searching for a speaker for their events. Ideally, a couple of speaking engagements per month will help me to spread the word about my memoir.

I held back tears last night as members of my writers group shared their sentiments about my work.

"Your writing has changed since you first joined us in the summer," Pete said last night.

The newest member of the group said, "I love your Angels in the outfield reference in the opening credits.  You made me feel like I belong in the story."

A third member told me, "Mike, I had to put the first chapter down and it took me a long time to go back to it because of the intense emotion I felt."

This last comment impacted me the most because it was the first chapter written months ago and it has been modified several times in an effort to connect with readers on a deeper level than the rough draft.  Crafting this memoir is as much a journey as my father's life.  I feel the writers group is a litmus test for how the world will feel when launch takes place in nine days.  I give praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for Divine intervention in this project.  Mountains are moving.  I love being a child of God and I love the people He placed in my life to achieve the impossible.  With God, ALL things are possible.

Let the final countdown begin.  Nine days to go!

Monday, March 7, 2011

From the Launch Pad

Goosebumps cover my arms as I stand next to the launch pad reviewing the final checklist. The moment I have been preparing for is now just ten days away. The Evil One looms in the vicinity, His shoulders drooping and His tail between His legs. His chicanery and shenanigans wreaked havoc in my life, however, nothing can stop God's plans for what is about to happen.

God is calling His lost sheep. My memoir will give hope to those seeking Him. My personal sacrifices  will pay off when readers find inspiration in my father's story. Sometimes our lives are filled with so much darkness that we believe our night cannot turn to day. If you know someone who feels this way, please have them read this book. Jesus promises that the sun will come out no matter how dark the night. May you see the Son when you read my family memoir. He has always been in my life even though there were many days when I could not see Him.

Please join me on the launchpad on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, 2011. Ten days to go!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Real Author

The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him ~ Exodus 15:2

Since day one of publishing this blog five hundred and sixty four days ago, I have admitted to you that I am not qualified to write.

“So, who is the REAL author?” you ask.

The real author is the One who's name is in all caps and whose name appears first on the front cover, while my name is in lowercase.  The lost sheep are prominently featured on the cover.  These are the beloved lost souls that the Creator is searching for.  God is calling them home.  Wherever they are, no matter how far away, He will find them, just as He found me, hiding in a cave in a remote town called Ramona.

Each time I felt as though I could not go on with this book writing project, people appeared out of thin air to offer guidance and expertise. I call these people my Angels because I know they are heaven sent.

Qualified writers, dedicating their entire lives to developing the art of wordsmithing, will be the first to tell you that their world is filled with loneliness and rejection. And these are the “qualified” writers. What about people like me who are called to write but not qualified to write?

The answer to this question came to me in prayer. All you need to do is study the Bible and you will see that God is consistent when He calls His sheep. Noah was a drunk with no ship building experience. Moses stuttered. The apostles called themselves fishermen, however, without Jesus to point them to the fish, they would have starved. David wasn't even allowed on the battlefield with his “qualified” older brothers, yet he is the one who defeated Goliath.

God doesn't call the “qualified,” He qualifies the called. That way, when an observer witnesses extraordinary works, he recognizes the “Real Author.” All of the events and people in my book were placed there by the Creator. The people behind the scenes, like Pete Zindler and Byron Mettler,  came into my life according to God's perfect timing. They are real authors and they are my mentors.

The next time you hear a voice inside of you that calls you to do something you feel is impossible, remember this, with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.  To the Real Author of "God's Black Sheep Squadron,"  I promise to trust you and follow you all the days of my life.  I give you all the honor and glory and thank you for choosing me to publish all the good that you do.

When you read my book, my hope is that you see through me and discover the One who lives in my heart, the One who makes all things new, the One who gave His life for you so that you can have new and abundant life.  It's time for me to decrease so that He may become visible.  Yes, He is the author of my life, a book that was written long before I was even born.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Guest Poster, Eric Stevenson, Shares Meditation Lessons

"Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing about who that is. It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely the path that is your life." ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Please allow me to introduce today's guest poster, Eric Stevenson, a health and safety advocate who resides in the Southeastern U.S.  He is a blog follower who volunteered to share important information with you today about the importance of meditation.  Thank you, Eric.  Feel free to leave your comments below for Eric's review. Eric, you are welcome back any time to share more on this important health topic.

I highly recommend incorporating regular meditation into your daily life.  Sarah Ban Breathnatch, author of "Simple Abundance," writes "it is the mortar that holds mind, body and Spirit together." I personally have found meditation to be a useful tool as I confront a busy daily routine.  Meditation allows me a chance to find peace.  Please welcome Eric Stevenson...

Chilling Out:  The real benefits of Meditation by Eric Stevenson

Meditation is more than a pastime. In fact, it is acknowledged by the National Institute of Health as a complementary therapy for those suffering from chronic illnesses like cancer.  Though many may think that the state of the mind is irrelevant to the process of physical healing, studies are showing that meditation can significantly improve both the physical and mental well-beings of those suffering from cancer.

Meditation plays an integral part in cultural customs around the world, especially in China, Japan, and India. The art of meditation began to grow in popularity in the West around 1960 when the transcendental Meditation guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, brought his meditation method to the United States. In the 1970’s, an Australian psychiatrist named Ainslie Meares performed studies on the usefulness of meditation in improving the use of the immune system and in shrinking tumors.

Meditation types vary greatly. Tai chi, qigong, and aikido are all traditional Asian methods that involve movement. Forms of mediation that require little or no movement include transcendental meditation and mindfulness meditation. Transcendental meditation involves repeating a mantra, a meaningful word or phrase, over and over again. This can be done silently or out loud.  Mindfulness meditation encourages a patient to let thoughts and sensations pass through the mind without judging them.

Meditation as a complementary therapy can help to ease the chronic pain of those suffering from cancer and other illnesses.  For example, symptoms of mesothelioma are often subtle and may be latent for 20-50 years. Because of this latency, this particular lung cancer requires extremely aggressive treatment.  Meditation can improve the quality of life and increase mesothelioma life expectancy for patients undergoing aggressive treatments by increasing immune system capabilities and reducing anxiety.  Meditation also results in the reduction of cholesterol, high blood pressure, and cortisol levels in the blood.

Meditation is not recommended as standalone treatment for cancer and other chronic illnesses. If meditation is to be routinely practiced, it is important that patients discuss that possibility with a physician.  Meditation is often advised as a complementary form of therapy, meaning that it ought to be practiced along with traditional and prescribed methods of treatment for optimal results.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Lesson in Humility

This is it, the final countdown.  It's the moment of truth.  Emerging from the cave for a second time, with a family memoir about to be shared, I wanted to have a heart-to-heart chat with you. If you can imagine that reading these daily blogs is like peeling away an onion, then this is the moment where the final layer is about to be removed. I find myself naked and vulnerable, my innermost feelings now fully exposed.

There is a part of me that doesn't like this feeling. It's the part that wants you to think I am some kind of superhuman, a warrior who can win no matter the odds and who can withstand any kind of trial. The truth is that I'm not. I am just a regular guy who strives to keep food on the table for my family and a smile on my beloved wife's face no matter how difficult the circumstances.

You will never know how serious the attacks have been from the dark side because I will keep these issues private in order to protect family members. The only reason I am publishing a family memoir about my father is because I feel the Creator wants to use my life to draw the lost closer to Him. You are more important to him than my pride.

Hiding in a cave all these years while pursuing money and praise from others gave me a false sense of security. Now the final layer of the onion is gone. I am defenseless in front of you. There are no barriers around my heart. My bank account is empty and my pride has been stripped away. I am exactly where God wants me to be. Finally, I am usable for Him. Not because of who I am, but because of who He is, the One who lives in my heart. Everything that was once me is dead. What you see today is a new creation, one that the Creator has been shaping and pruning for 50 years.   If it were up to me, I would have preferred a little LESS pruning. The pruning was necessary in order for the Creator to develop a new person, completely free of hatred, prejudice, pride, selfishness and greed.

This naked caveman is ready to serve you. Thank you for allowing me to share my life with you. The greatest lesson that I have learned on this amazing journey is that no man is a failure who has friends. I have been humbled by many events that have taken place in recent times, however, I have learned that true friends never abandon you. If you are one of those people, from the deepest regions of my heart, I thank you. I love you.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Going With Your Strengths

One of my greatest joys preparing for our church fundraiser was in discovering the unique gifts that each member of the committee possessed.  EVERY member displayed at least one gift.  Each unique gift,  when combined with all the other talents, formed a team that was unstoppable.

I found myself faltering in a couple of areas and discovered that allowing others to use their talents was a better way to go.  This allowed me to sleep better in the final days leading up to our event.  Don't be afraid to step up when you are in a crowd and you know that the talent you have is the missing ingredient or ask for help when you are in over your head.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Last Call to Become an Angel in the Outfield

The first 100 collectors copies of “God's Black Sheep Squadron” have been reserved for those individuals who volunteered to become Angels in the outfield. Your donation of $25 entitles you to a signed, specially numbered collectors edition. Your name or your initials and your favorite quote also become part of the book as long as I receive your information in time for publication.

Please click on the link at the top of the blog for more information, including discounts for multiple copies. If your lucky number is still available, e-mail me today and reserve it. Please send your most cherished quote and list your name or initials to be published on the inside back page. You may choose to remain anonymous if you prefer.

My e-mail address is:

Thank you for helping me to get this book launched. Look for information on the book release party  coming soon.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Celebration Begins

Get out your green.  It's time to celebrate.  As my father would say, "St. Patrick's MONTH is here."

Our Zoom office will be decorated and I will be rolling out my first book the same day my daughter, Nicole, celebrates her 18th birthday, March 17th.

My writer's critique group is working diligently to edit newly written chapters just in time for me to send off to Createspace for publication.

I am finalizing plans for the book release party to be held on March 17th at 7:00 pm.  If you are in Ramona on St. Patrick's Day, check back here for details about the event or come back to order your copy.  Time is running out for the Angels in the outfield, an opportunity for a signed collector's copy.  Email me if you would like to

There is still so much to do.  The key is to focus on one thing at a time and remain calm.  The Holy Spirit is running the show.  My baby is about to be born.  Seventeen days to go!  The labor pains just started.