Archive for January, 2018

Fix Your Diet Fix Your Diabetes

Fix Your Love of Fructose

Fixing your “sweet tooth” may help save your life. Why fructose and most refined sugars should be public health enemy number one and why you should avoid them.

Research has confirmed that consuming the various forms of refined sugars is harmful to your health. The “bitter truth” however as explained by Dr. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco, is that refined fructose is the deadliest from of refined sugars and should be avoided. This substance causes many medical conditions as well a metabolic damage to the body.

Fructose increases your risk for:

  • Insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity
    • Elevated blood pressure
    • Elevated triglycerides and elevated LDL
    • Depletion of vitamins and minerals
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Fatty liver disease, cancer, arthritis, and gout

Why is fructose bad:

  • The organ that metabolizes fructose is your liver which is a different process compared to glucose. This puts an unusually high burden on the liver leading to a fatty liver in many cases.
    • Our consumption of refined fructose is high, allowing its negative metabolic effects to occur.

Fructose from fruit is good and refined fructose is bad:

  • Fructose from fruits and vegetables is okay because it is eaten with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and beneficial phytonutrients, all which moderate any negative metabolic effects. Refined fructose eaten in high doses causes negative metabolic effects.

When did we start eating fructose and why:

  • Fructose was invented in 1966 in Japan and introduced to the American market in 1975.
    • In 1972, Richard Nixon reduced food costs as part of his “war on poverty.” After partnering with USDA he subsidized the production corn resulting in its increased production and helped increase its export around the world. When corn prices fell and a surplus developed, Earl Lauer Butz (U.S. official under Nixon) championed the spread of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Due to the low costs of fructose, manufacturers switched from sucrose (table sugar) to fructose.
    • In the mid 1970s, dietary fats were blamed for heart disease (thanks to researcher Ancel Keys as mentioned in my video: http://bit.ly/FixYourFearOfFat), resulting in a reduction of fat in our diet. Fructose was used to make fat-free products more palatable.

Why is fructose different as explained by Dr. Lustig:

  • When you eat fructose, 100 percent of the metabolic burden rests on your liver leading to a fatty liver. The liver only has to break down 20% of the glucose you consume.
    • Glucose is a more pure form of energy utilized by your cells. Fructose, however is turned into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat. Fructose makes you FAT!
    • The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism causes fatty liver and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance leads to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
    • Fructose metabolism results in waste products that increase blood pressure and causes gout.
    • Glucose suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.

Alternatives to your sweet addition:

  • First realize that you may have a sugar addition. So stand up, look at your audience, admit you have a problem, and start your journey fixing you “sweet tooth”. It’s hard to imagine but I promise your new life will be much better.
    • If you must, use organic cane sugar or raw honey but only rarely and in moderation. They are less harmful than fructose.
    • Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose. If you must a substitute, use Stevia or Xylitol.
    • Avoid agave syrup since it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose.
    • Avoid soda, natural juices, energy drinks, and sports drinks because they are loaded with sugar, sodium, and chemical additives. Better options are water first followed by teas and at times coffee. Try teas with a variety of flavors. Try coffee with non sugar creamers (I like coconut cream) and use vanilla flavor, nutmeg flavor, cinnamon flavor, and others.

About the Author

Tony Hampton

Dr. Tony Hampton has been treating patients with multiple chronic conditions for nearly two decades. In addition to his role as an Advocate Medical Group (AMG) family physician over the last nine years, Dr. Hampton currently holds multiple responsibilities within the Advocate Healthcare, including Medical Director of AMG Beverly, Vice-Chair of AMG’s Governing Council, Chair of Health Outcomes Committee and Co-Chair of Executive Diversity Council.

Over the last two years, Dr. Hampton has worked closely with AOS, successfully piloting advancements in AMG’s operations management systems. He is a champion for change that results in greater work-life balance for physicians and an enhanced patient experience. His interpersonal skills, clinical knowledge, and desire for strong patient/team engagement will continue to make Tony an asset to the AOS team.

A regular speaker for the American Diabetes Association and consultant for the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Initiative to Improve Diabetes Care, Dr. Hampton is passionate about empowering patients by changing old beliefs to new ones which better serve them using evidence-based medicine. Educating them on the root cause of disease processes and the importance of diet provides the path to positive health outcomes for diabetics, borderline diabetics, and patients not at their ideal body weight.

He is a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) and earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix. Tony authored the book Fix Your Diabetes, Fix Your Diet, Your Dietary Solution to Reversing Diabetes which was published in April 2017.



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Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery

A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare

The award-winning author of “Anybody’s Daughter” is back with an addictive courtroom drama that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system.

Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice?

Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.


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Chapter 1

“What’s the matter, Mrs. Singletary? Why do I have to go to the principal’s office?”
I’m walking side-by-side down the hallway with my second-period teacher. Students are huddled together staring and pointing at us like we’re zoo animals. When a teacher at Marcus Preparatory Academy escorts you to the principal’s office, it’s a big deal. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I’m a good student. I never get in trouble.
Mrs. Singletary won’t answer my questions or even look at me. I hope she knows she’s only making me more nervous.
“Mrs. Singletary, please tell me what’s wrong?”
“Just follow me. You’ll find out in a minute.”
I’m about to ask her another question when it hits me. Something happened to my mama!
My mama has been on and off drugs for as long as I can remember. I haven’t seen her in months and I don’t even know where she lives. No one does. I act like it doesn’t bother me, but it does. I’ve prayed to God a million times to get her off drugs. Even though my granny says God answers prayers, He hasn’t answered mine, so I stopped asking.
I jump in front of my teacher, forcing her to stop. “Was there a death in my family, Mrs. Singletary? Did something happen to my mama?”
“No, there wasn’t a death.”
She swerves around me and keeps going. I have to take giant steps to keep up with her.
Once we’re inside the main office, Mrs. Singletary points at a wooden chair outside Principal Keller’s office. “Have a seat and don’t move.”
She goes into the principal’s office and closes the door. My head begins to throb like somebody’s banging on it from the inside. I close my eyes and try to calm down. I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s probably just—Oh snap! The picture!
I slide down in the chair and pull my iPhone from my right pocket. My hands are trembling so bad I have to concentrate to keep from dropping it. I open the photos app and delete the last picture on my camera roll. If anyone saw that picture, I’d be screwed.
Loud voices seep through the closed door. I lean forward, straining to hear. It almost sounds like Mrs. Singletary and Principal Keller are arguing.

“It’s only an allegation. We don’t even know if it’s true.”
“I don’t care. We have to follow protocol.”
“Can’t you at least check his phone first?”
“I’m not putting myself in the middle of this mess. I’ve already made the call.”

The call? I can’t believe Principal Keller called my dad without even giving me a chance to defend myself. How’d she even find out about the picture?
The door swings open and I almost jump out of my skin. The principal crooks her finger at me. “Come in here, son.”
Trudging into her office, I sit down on a red cloth chair that’s way more comfortable than the hard one outside. My heart is beating so fast it feels like it might jump out of my chest.
The only time I’ve ever been in Principal Keller’s office was the day my dad enrolled me in school. Mrs. Singletary is standing in front of the principal’s desk with her arms folded. I hope she’s going to stay here with me, but a second later, she walks out and closes the door.
Principal Keller sits on the edge of her desk, looking down at me. “Graylin, do you have any inappropriate pictures on your cell phone?”
“Huh?” I try to keep a straight face. “No, ma’am.”
“It’s been brought to my attention that you have an inappropriate picture—a naked picture—of Kennedy Carlyle on your phone. Is that true?”
“No…uh…No, ma’am.” Thank God I deleted it!
“This is a very serious matter, young man. So, I need you to tell me the truth.”
“No, ma’am.” I shake my head so hard my cheeks vibrate. “I don’t have anything like that on my phone.”
“I pray to God you’re telling me the truth.”
I don’t want to ask this next question, but I have to know. “Um, so you called my dad?”
“Yes, I did. He’s on his way down here now.”
I hug myself and start rocking back and forth. Even though I deleted the picture, my dad is still going to kill me for having to leave work in the middle of the day.
“I also made another call.”
At first I’m confused. Then I realize Mrs. Keller must’ve called my granny too. At least she’ll keep my dad from going ballistic.
“So you called my granny?”
“No.” The principal’s cheeks puff up like she’s about to blow something away. “I called the police.”

About the Author

Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. She set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. Pamela consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.

An author, attorney and motivational speaker, Pamela spent fifteen years as Managing Counsel for Toyota, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of the absence of women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. She is now an award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers, including Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and her new release, Abuse of Discretion, a shocking look at the juvenile justice system in the context of a troubling teen sexting case.

Prior to her legal career, spent several years as a television news writer and associate producer. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and earned a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of teen sexting, child sex trafficking, self-empowerment and fiction writing.



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Abby Bardi is the author of three novels: Double Take, The Secret Letters, and The Book of Fred. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies and journals, and she has written academic articles on Roma (Gypsies). She grew up on the South Side of Chicago and now lives in Ellicott City, MD, the oldest railroad town in America.




Would you call yourself a born writer?

Yes and no. Yes: I have been writing since I was a little kid, and I kept it up because my parents thought it was cute. No: But on the other hand, I have to work really hard at writing—it’s not something that comes easily, and it seems like the more novels I write (I’ve published three so far), the harder it gets. But yes again: writing is essential to my existence.

What was your inspiration for DOUBLE TAKE?

Like my main character Rachel Cochrane, I was once (very long ago) a waitress at a restaurant that was a front for a drug and burglary ring. Much like Rachel, I was pretty naïve and didn’t realize at first what was going on, but it gradually became apparent and instead of being freaked out by it, I found it fascinating. At the time, there were a number of mysterious people who came and went at the restaurant, and for years I wondered about them—in fact, the people I grew up with have a Facebook page where we have long threads wondering whatever happened to that guy the police were looking for, or the woman who shot heroin under her tongue….I’ve always loved mysteries, and the Sixties were full of them, so in DOUBLE TAKE I went back and solved some. For the record, Rachel Cochrane is way cooler than I ever was.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I don’t do this on purpose, but it has been pointed out to me that a common thread in my novels is an exploration of what a family is, and what it means to be a family in unusual times. I also seem to gravitate toward protagonists who are caught up in something they don’t really understand. And I love life’s mysteries; DOUBLE TAKE is a traditional mystery in that it’s about unsolved murders, but my other two novels have mysteries in them, too—or maybe I mean enigmas.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Oh, only about thirty years. I took some breaks.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Yes, I am very disciplined—I have to be because my job involves reading and grading other people’s writing, so I have to find time for my own. I write every morning for about an hour before moving on to other things.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Knowing when it was finished. I thought I’d finished it a bunch of times and then ended up going back and doing more to it.

What do you love most about being an author?

 I love the act of writing itself. Being all alone (I write in the morning when no one else is awake yet) in a world I have created. And I love talking to people about writing.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

My first novel, THE BOOK OF FRED, was published by Atria, a division of Simon & Schuster, and my second (THE SECRET LETTERS) and third (DOUBLE TAKE) were with HarperCollins Australia. I was very happy with both publishers—very nice people and great editors.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website is www.abbybardi.com  and I also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Abby-Bardi-1057384604291418/

About the Book:


Set in Chicago, 1975, Double Take is the story of artsy Rachel Cochrane, who returns from college with no job and confronts the recent death of Bando, one of her best friends. When she runs into Joey, a mutual friend, their conversations take them back into their shared past and to the revelation that Bando may have been murdered. To find out who murdered him, Rachel is forced to revisit her stormy 1960s adolescence, a journey that brings her into contact with her old friends, her old self, and danger.


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Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series and The Company Files from Winter Goose Publishing as well as numerous short stories. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen. You can visit him at his website. He’s here today to talk about his new suspense series.
Thanks for this interview, Gabriel. Tell us about yourself.
I hide my love of dogs from my cats. English was not my first language, and I read fiction in more than one language. I was a sponsored triathlete. Cancer survivor. I weighed one pound at birth. Hearing-impaired. Ambidextrous. I went to school with Peter Dinklage.
Have you always been creative? When did you start writing fiction?
As a writer, no. I drew and painted at a young age. I read voraciously as a child, but when I did take an interest in creative writing, it was poetry. My first publication was a poem in 1989.
In this your new series, The Company Files, you move from the present Rome of your Roma Series to historical post-war Vienna. Why did you choose this particular time period?
I should state up front that I wrote The Good Man before I wrote Roma, Underground. To answer your question…History interests me. For those who don’t know, Vienna was divided into four zones, the American, the British, the French, and the Russians after World War II. Vienna would become, for a brief time, a Wild West.
It’s not the first time a city or country had been divided after a conflict. Vienna, however, bears a crucial distinction in that it became the crucible for the Cold War and the birthplace for the post-war intelligence community. Modern nation states in Europe then were designated as either friendly to US-led Western Bloc or to Soviet-led Eastern Bloc countries. There is, of course, the fun of researching the social mores of the era. Leslie in The Good Man and Bianca in The Roma Series are a half-century apart, and yet confront similar issues of survival in a man’s world.
The book is described as historical noir. For readers who aren’t familiar with this genre, can you tell us about it?
First, noir is a cinematic term. Film noir is, in my opinion, a visual display of Existentialist philosophy. The prevailing undercurrent to film noir and the crime fiction it inspired is that the Average Joe is doomed no matter what he does. He’ll make one bad decision after another, whether it’s planning a heist that goes wrong, keeping found money and unwittingly inviting the bad guys into his life, or lusting after the wrong woman. His life is a blues song. If he didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all.

Historical noir, as I use the phrase to describe The Good Man, is when characters make decisions within a certain context. The world is still morally compromised and fatalistic. The historical circumstances offer both flavour and plot device. The reader has the advantage of hindsight. November 22, 1963, for example, has only one inevitable conclusion. Genre sets the expectation, and I leave it to the reader to decide whether I abide by or violate those rules. Is there justice in the end? Does the guy get the girl?

Like in your Roma Series, you pay particular attention to team work among your characters. What draws you to this quality?
The Good Man is the result of my love for what I call the middle period of noir fiction, the 1940s. I’m not hard-boiled as Hammett’s Continental Op and Sam Spade from the 1920s, nor as violent as Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer in the 1950s. I envisioned a softer cynicism found in Raymond Chandler’s Marlowe.
In reading contemporary crime fiction, which I think harkens back to hard-boiled, I can appreciate the antihero and the protagonist who can’t catch a break, but I find most of it too nihilistic. While I don’t believe that Good always triumphs in real life, I found myself asking: Are we so cynical as to find value in the bleak and ultra-violent stories? Does it take visiting the darkest depths to feel better about our own lives?
Don’t get me wrong about violence and profanity. Mexican cartels are violent, but the Average Joe criminal is not that sadistic. My complaint is that there’s no glimmer of hope in a lot of contemporary crime fiction, unless it’s the razor blade on the sidewalk. Algren, Bukowski, and Fante wrote to show how the other half lived, but so did Upton Sinclair and Steinbeck. What is the point, if there’s nothing positive in the universe?
Writers have to compete with movies, with visual media, so why not work the vein of human relationships in close quarters? I’m not saying people can’t be flawed. The series Breaking Bad is a perfect example. People pushed to extremes are forced to work and trust each other, to some degree. In The Good Man, there is a triangle of characters who entrust their lives to each other. Jack, Walker, and Whittaker have a foundation – their shared war experiences – for trusting each other. Another triangle in the story is Leslie, Sheldon, and Tania: they have to prove themselves. There is history, camaraderie and debts, recognized and repaid.
Tell us about your protagonists and what makes them stand out.
Jack Marshall is the leader, principled but agile. Walker is the romantic, the fellow caught up in history’s current and unsure of his abilities. Whittaker is the doer, which doesn’t always require brains. Each man makes questionable decisions. Leslie is a woman with skills in an unappreciative world and she’s acutely aware of it. Sheldon is savvy, almost suicidal. Tania is precocious, another survivor, and a damaged soul.
Jack and Walker fought in the war together, depended on each other and owed each other something. In a life and death situation, would they choose friendship over duty?
Jack and Walker have a moment in The Good Man where they question Whittaker’s loyalty, but they extend the benefit of the doubt. Political pressure is hammering both men. Friendship and duty coexist and are in conflict with each other. The question is how long can they hold out. Jack and Walker choose Loyalty because of what they’ve experienced together. Few would understand it.
I found Walker and Leslie’s relationship sad. Does love have a place in their dangerous professions?
Their story continues in the sequels, The Naming Game and Diminished Fifth. My take on their relationship is that Leslie realizes times are changing and she is trying to hold onto her independence. The social mores of the day were especially hard on women. Women during the war years experienced a few years of financial freedom before the country asked them to return to the kitchen and home.
Leslie knows she has the credibility for a career in intelligence, but how much of that can she keep or maintain if she is perceived as ‘attached’ or ‘compromised’? I also believe Leslie is better grounded than Walker. He is trying to find his place in the world. I’m not sure Leslie can wait for him, or sacrifice what she has accomplished on her own. Their profession adds the complication that their lives are shrouded in secrecy and they must be ciphers to most people around them.
There are a number of intriguing secondary characters, like Sheldon and Tania. Were they difficult to write about? What challenges did you face getting into the mind of a vigilante and a 13-year-old Lolita-type character?
They weren’t difficult since I didn’t have to venture far to create them. As I mention in the Afterword, there were Jewish concentration camp survivors who were incensed that known war criminals were evading justice, so they became ‘vigilantes’ and hunted them down. Sheldon is a complex character and his “activities” are ambiguous, depending on your moral compass. The late Simon Wiesenthal hunted down former Nazis to have them arrested or exposed because so many escaped the courtrooms.
My opinion is that justice was selective and in the hands of the dominant player after World War II, the United States. There were businessmen and companies who benefitted from Nazi labor camps. Have a look at the I.G. Farben Trials, and note that none of the defendants was American, though Ford Motor Company, General Motors and IBM benefitted from their dark alliances with Hitler’s Third Reich.

The plot for The Good Man revolves around Operation Paperclip, where the U.S. collaborated with allies to shield former Nazis. The physicist Wernher von Braun is a notorious example. His work accelerated the U.S.’s space program. Reinhard Gehlen, another example, traded in his Nazi Army shoulder boards to become a Communist hunter. Eichmann’s whereabouts were not a complete mystery to U.S. intelligence, but it took the Israeli Mossad to defy both the U.S. and international laws to kidnap him from his apartment in Buenos Aires in order to bring him to Jerusalem to stand trial.

Tania was a wonderful creation. She’s flirtatious and, like most victims of sexual abuse, she acts precocious and manipulative. Her pedigree as a victim, however, runs deeper. As a Slav, she had dodged the Nazis, who would’ve worked her to death in the camps; had she presented herself as a refugee seeking asylum in Vienna, the Americans would’ve seen her as a Communist. There is also her ideological heritage: her father was a casualty of a Stalinist purge. She is a young girl without a country.
Were you thinking of Sheldon when you came up with the title?
Yes, but I think the question, “Are you a good man?” can be put to Jack, Walker, and Whittaker, too.
Post-war Vienna came alive for me in the story. Tell us about the importance of settings.
Context and circumstances are everything. I tried to develop the noirish aspect of time and place. I mentioned earlier that Vienna was a unique historical situation. Vienna was a playground for intrigues and for the Cold War, the silent world war. Whereas Berlin had a literal wall to divide antagonistic ideologies, hotels and landmarks designated the governing powers in Vienna.
With the War over, the Americans and British were now uneasy allies. Russia, an ally for the Americans, was now the new enemy. The bad guys, the Nazis with special insider information, became tentative allies. That the entire drama plays out in a German-speaking Austria was not lost on me. Austria, Hitler’s birthplace, while German speaking, is not Teutonic in the sense that it’s Protestant and its division into Bundesländer, or city-states, came after the dissolution of the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy.
In the café scenes, I tried to capture this sense of a world that had fallen away from what Stefan Zweig called The World of Yesterday. Walker is out of his depth in not knowing the German language and Austrian culture well, and both he and Jack are also caught up in the clashes of American and European, and West with East, when they encounter Sheldon and Tania. 
What appeals to you about European settings? Have you been in the places that appear in your books?
Differences in perception and outlook. Travel and living abroad have educated me. My use of settings is more than just ‘colour’ in my novels. While I have not been to Vienna, I’ve visited Austria. I’ve travelled around Great Britain (attended graduate school there), been to France, Germany, Italy, and the former Yugoslavia. I try to illustrate and incorporate cultural differences; how people interact with each other and relate to authority. In the Roma Series, I explore the unresolved North and South divide in Italy, among other sensitive issues.
I witnessed a balance between Work and Life in Europe that does not exist in America, whether it was Ferragosto in Italy, or strikes in France by all workers to protest raising student fees in France. Americans work longer and harder and our health suffers for it. If American education and healthcare were run according to the business model of rewarding performance, then there would be true reform.
I find it morally reprehensible that, for a country of such wealth and resources, the U.S. has the worst rate for maternal deaths in the Developed World, with 26 deaths per 100,000 live births. Sense of perspective: The World Health Organization tracks 180 countries and the US ranks 137 on that list for maternal deaths. Other findings are sobering and irrefutable. Will McAvoy, a character on Aaron Sorkin’s The News Room, summarized it in his answer to the question, “Can you say why America is the greatest country in the world?” You can find the clip on youtube.com
Experiencing Europe, I realized that Americans and European society are socially engineered around a different definition of ‘citizen.’ I’m not naïve: Europe is a tiered society and mobility is limited, but I think it’s disingenuous to think America doesn’t have a class society. I’m not blind to disconcerting parallels between the U.S. and Europe, such as the uncanny similarities between Berlusconi and Trump.
Americans, however, have drunk the ideological Kool-Aid and I’m afraid we are losing our standing in the world. I cited ‘citizen’ as an example, so let me provide an example of distorted logic. There were protests against Obamacare. The idea of national healthcare is still derided as ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism.’ Protestors claimed that in other systems, a patient died waiting for care.
There is no such evidence. President Obama himself said he watched his mother worry not about the ovarian cancer that would claim her life, but rather how she would pay for healthcare. I’ll set aside the obvious ignorance that Socialism and Communism are apples and oranges, but nobody has considered the European view that healthcare is a citizen’s right, and that healthy citizens are an investment in Society.
For this book, how much and what type of research did you have to do?
With any topic that is not native to your experience, research is required; it’s a matter of ethics. I had to read history books and memoirs about the period covered in The Good Man. I cited some of them in my Afterword. With respect to people who lived during that time, those I knew are dead now. I am aware that with people I knew, the material is anecdotal and subjective, the lens of history made hazy.
The Good Man tries to show decent people in terrible situations. Mistakes were made, people fooled, and terrible compromises made. There was also a consolidation of extraordinary power in individuals such as the Dulles brothers at the CIA, and J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI. The United States would see a similar nexus of power again with the Kennedy brothers.
I do believe that the CIA was founded on the noble (and necessary) premise of national security, but the nature of spy craft and politics is such that it’s a losing proposition. When governments resort to secret agencies or programs, or leverage the methods of their former enemies Hermann Göring’s propaganda and Stasi surveillance methods are alive and well then what do we have? Enemies yesterday, friends today; and friends today, enemies tomorrow. Case in point: President Reagan continued Operation Cyclone to counter the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, funding mujahedeen leaders who would later become the founding members of the extremist al-Qaeda.
In general, what do you struggle with as an author?
Visibility. It’s a struggle because there are so many books out each month.
What is a regular day like for you? Do you set yourself a minimum amount of words or hours on a daily or weekly basis?
I write in the mornings. I find that my mind is clearer and focused then. While I understand setting goals as a form of discipline, Word Counts mean nothing to me. I don’t lack discipline. The way my imagination works is that I envision a scene and I write until it is done, whether that takes one day or several days. I see writers posting daily Word Counts, and I don’t know what to make of it. Quantity over Quality? A form of humblebrag? Jack Torrance sat every day at his typewriter and typed, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy …” and look how that turned out for him.
How do you set yourself challenges and grow as an author with each new book? For example, what lessons did you learn with your first series that you now implement in this new series?  What are you discovering about yourself as a writer while writing these new series?
I challenge myself by writing in different genres. Horror. Crime fiction. Cozy mystery. Genre gets bashed as low-brow, and not as “Literary Fiction,” which I think is nonsense. Genre is like poetry. You have to know the rules, the meter, and the expectation. Break the rules after you’ve mastered them, but learn them first and appreciate their inherent challenges. The same approach applies to reading in and out of your comfort zones. I mentioned earlier that I read foreign literature. Translators have made other writers available. Read a French ‘polar’ and ‘policier’ and observe the space dedicated to describing violence and exposition. As with any foreign culture, note workplace hierarchy and formalities.
What can readers look forward to in the sequel? When is the next book coming out?
The Naming Game delivers more of the Walker and Leslie relationship. Readers will become acquainted with the turf war between the nascent CIA and J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI during the Red Scare in Los Angeles.
What do you look forward to as an author in 2018?  
I look forward to reading more of Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano. I hope to meet readers at conferences such as Malice Domestic, and New England Crimebake. I have not made a decision about attending Bouchercon in Florida.
What else would you like to tell readers?
If you are at a conference and know that I am there, please stop me and say hello.

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View More: http://aislinnkate.pass.us/joejoseph-miniBorn and raised in Florida, M.J. Joseph maintains membership in the English Goethe Society, the Siegfried Sassoon Society and other literary associations. He is a supporter-member of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature, as well as an Associate of Lincoln Cathedral. Prior to retiring, Joseph enjoyed a lengthy and rewarding career with an industrial firm where he served as CEO and managed the company’s merger with a larger international corporation. He divides his time between Europe and his home on Florida’s northern coast. M.J. Joseph and his wife Ann have two children and reside in Florida.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Lübecker. To begin with, can you give us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   

A: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to spend time with the Phantom! First, The Lübecker may be regarded as a work of historical fiction, set primarily in the American South, Western Europe and the Middle East between 1882 through 1915. It is structured upon individual narratives of a merchant’s son from the Hanseatic German city of Lübeck and an American doctor’s daughter and their families. While the mythos of the book is not confined to any particular age, the story utilizes the milieu’s erumpent social, religious and intellectual issues and the political dynamics roiling nineteenth-century Europe and the Near-East, finally culminating in World War I.

I was motivated to write The Lübecker as a result of my interest in the life and work of Lou Andreas-Salome, philosophical and religious considerations, my family history and the incredible variegation of conflict and changes in nineteenth-century Europe and the Ottoman Middle East.

9781614935247-JacketGray_Lubecker COVER.inddQ: What do you think makes a good novel? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: Frankly, I enjoy a wide range of fiction, where elements of plot, character, intellectual challenge and pace are given varying degrees of dominance, depending on the author’s preferences, ability and discernment. I do really enjoy reading novels utilizing demanding plot structures, well-developed characters and ideas.

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: Developing the book was challenging, as I conceived it as the first book of four to convey a story.  The Lübecker was designed to steep the reader’s imagination in the arc of the narratives, the characters and their fates, while preserving a good deal of the story’s depth for the next three books, some told from points of view of individual characters.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: I approached the development of both protagonists, remember, there are two, very distinct narratives, by concentrating on the development of important, ancillary characters, especially those whose points of view will carry the story in the subsequent books. This enabled me to sketch the protagonists as responses to the developed characters and shape them as I moved them within the narratives.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: Nearly all the important characters, and some minor characters, were conceived to represent archetypal concepts and very basic, elemental forces. The villains were not exceptional in this and in executing some of the period’s most proscribed immoral and illegal behaviors, they were given context within the looming conflicts that would eventually inform the story.


Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: Because great weight was given to the development of the book’s protagonists and main ancillary characters, the story was moved along in part by carefully timing the reintroduction of the narratives, building latent elements into the story and bringing the protagonists into the same conflict.

A tip: don’t hurry.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: The Lübecker moves in its action among several different settings, each reflecting the milieu and the progress of the Bildungsromane of the protagonists.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: Yes, I began the project by defining the theme.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: Editing, at least for me, is an essential part of inspiring and nourishing creativity. The initial creative thrust provides an edifice to build a story upon, but, for me, exploiting it editorially allows the formation of more ideas and images to bring the project to fuller realization.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: Three, very fundamental requirements to be a successful novelist are: an intense fascination with words and language, erudition and the ability and willingness to devote a sufficient amount of time to writing.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A:  Fiction-writing, at least in my case, is fundamentally a very selfish exercise, done only to meet my own self-imposed requirements. I believe that I understand what the author means by “homework”, but I just don’t relate to the statement very well.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: I would urge any writer to seek-out and explore websites and periodicals offered by literary societies representing the work of authors they appreciate. Reading short-form work available in popular magazines and popular, formulaic, relatively short novels is useful to anyone seeking to improve their ability to render ideas clearly, explicate plot and develop a style. Finally, I would recommend spending time auditing literature classes at a local community college, college or university, and participating in any discussion groups that might attend the courses.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: I really believe that everyone has a book in them, and those who wish to bring their books forward must find that the act of writing their book is sufficiently fulfilling.  The author must be prepared to accept the idea that, perhaps, their book will have value and interest only to later generations who happen to find the banker’s box into which the author proudly committed it, unpublished.





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the-good-man-by-gabriel-valjan_1Title: The Company Files: The Good Man

Author: Gabriel Valjan

Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing

Release date: December 2017

Pages: 251

Genre: suspense/espionage

Find out more on Amazon

It’s 1948, post-war Vienna. In this tale of international espionage, friends and ex-army buddies Jack Marshall and Walker are trying to gather intelligence for the Company in a time when Americans are ruthlessly trying to keep ahead of the Russians. To do so, they must sort Nazis out and question them. But a vigilante with a vendetta against former Nazis is getting to them first. Can Jack and Walker trust a vigilante killer to help them, and if yes, at what price? Add to the mix a beautiful Company analyst as well as a young Russian refugee girl who happens to be under the care of the vigilante. And at the core of it all, a rare priceless coin. As tension escalates one of them must become bait in order to unmask the traitor amongst them.

In a world of intelligence and counter-intelligence where an ally can turn into an enemy—and vice versa—at the flip of a coin, who can you trust? The Americans, the Russians, the British? Who is working for whom in this ruthless race for power?

I thoroughly enjoyed this historical noire. Valjan’s skillful and often witty prose flows elegantly through the pages. The setting is excellent and post-war Vienna comes to life during winter, especially the refugee areas with their gritty bleak streets, run-down cafes and dark cold rooms. There’s an array of interesting and well-crafted characters and the mystery accelerates at a steady pace until the very satisfying ending. In sum, I recommend this read for lovers of spy and international intrigue novels a la James Bond.


The Company Files: A Good Man is book one in Valjan’s new Company Files series. He also has another series of international suspense set in the present titled The Roma series. Check his Amazon author page to learn more.

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Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin, published by Rare Bird, Los Angeles, 2015, and The Blue Heron Ranch Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2008, is currently working on a second cookbook titled Zafu Kitchen Cookbook. 

Natali, a clinical psychotherapist and dance therapist, specializes in trauma release through somatic work. She earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York City in Dance/Movement Therapy and completed another masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Nadia is a registered practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (RCST) and is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) who trained with Peter Levine.

DanceMedicine Workshops is Natali’s creation where participants move through their trauma with dialogue and dance. She also offers the Ojai community, DanceMedicine Journeys. In addition to her private practice, Nadia and her husband offer Zen Retreats at their center.

Born into a famous family that was riddled with dysfunction, Nadia Natali made the choice to turn her life inside out and step away from fame and fortune. Against her parents’ consent she married an artist and moved to the remote wilderness in California. It was there that she found grounding as she and her husband raised and homeschooled their three children and opened a retreat center. As she gathered her own momentum, she enrolled in a doctorate program finally becoming a clinical psychotherapist specializing in psychosomatic work. She and her husband live in Ojai California.



Q: We’d love to find out more about the publishing process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

A number of years ago a good friend who teaches writing at UCLA said to me, “You ought to write a memoir you have such an interesting story to tell”. I’d been thinking of it and her suggestion confirmed my impulse to write. I joined her weekly writing group and found it daunting as I listened to the other professional writers’ read their pages. After months of feeling painfully inadequate I stopped participating and wrote the rest of the book at home. Luckily my friend was very encouraging and without all those listeners I realized I was better off working on my own.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

It took many years to write, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin. In some way I felt I had a hand at my back that pushed me through the whole process. It was very hard work but for me there was little or no resistance. You really need to want to do it; if there is any doubt I imagine the process could be agonizing.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Initially I self-published then I sent out the book to various agencies. The agency that took my book was also a publisher, Rare Bird Books. After our initial agreement I asked if they would publish my memoir if I helped fund the printing. They agreed and revised the whole book. They did some PR but it was not enough. They told me recently that the distributors and bookstores really like the book but no one knows about it. Few people go in asking for it. My publisher said I needed to get out and sell it to people. I have no idea how to do that. I am not good using social media and needed to find someone to help me

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

My first book, The Blue Heron Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center, was published by North Atlantic Books. I was disappointed with what little effort they put out to publicize it.

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I am working on anther cookbook called, Zafu Kitchen: Recipes for Better Health.

I may self-publish again.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

The memoir reveals how the values of our society cause deep discontent and is fundamentally contrary to our deepest hopes and needs.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Fame and money are not a good formula for happiness. I grew up in a family with great fame and with plenty of money. As a young adult I distanced myself from them in search of a more wholesome life. In my journey I learned that personal integrity, authenticity and inner authority were my means to a much more satisfactory life. I was surprised to find that the most effective way to uncover these attributes was through the somatic, the internal sensations, rather than through the thinking mind.

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Gabriella Bradley lives amidst rugged mountains. She more than often has a grizzly in her backyard searching for food. Other critters that visit on a regular basis are cougars, coyotes, squirrels, raccoons.

She has been a writer all of her life, though only ventured into erotic works in 2003.

Gabby’s hobbies include hiking, gardening, swimming, sewing, embroidery. Favorite movies are old timers like Gone with the Wind, Spartacus etc. Favorite music is Abba. Besides all that, she owns and directs a busy company and its staff.



Taryn Jameson is a mother, artist, and avid reader who lives in an enchanted forest that sparks her imagination to create. Her latest outlet is the written word. She is the alter ego of cover artist Angela Waters.



About the Books:

Title: CARNAL TWILIGHT (Prequel)
Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 23
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter


The prequel to In Search of Pride

The gods smile upon a weary warrior…

Brenn, a warrior, returning home from battle, rests by a tempting magical pool and meets a siren who changes his life forever.


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Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 125
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter


Bound by a curse, Brenn must find a way to save his pride.

Brenn returns from a war far from his home to find that his village is destroyed and his pride missing. With the help of his guardian dragon, Ciara, he sets out to find his missing family and pride.

After Ciara saves Brenn’s life twice, he begins to realize that he isn’t as invincible as he once thought. He must accept his limitations and the help of his lifemate to keep him safe.


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Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy
Pages: 172
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter


Danger, lies, and betrayal forge the path to unlocking the secrets Brenn seeks.

The rescue of Brenn’s pride sets off an angry tirade from Cewrick that results in curses that almost cripple the Crimson Realm and all of Ierilia.

With the help of Ciara, Brenn leads his crew through the bowels of the planet and the forbidden forest to unlock the secret of defeating Cewrick. But will his defeat end the reign of terror on their world?


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Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: TBA
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter


The blade of betrayal cuts deep.

When Erica is granted a commission in the king’s army and a magical sword for her bravery, she begins to look forward to a future for both herself and her crew. But not everyone is happy with their circumstances.

Erica joins Brenn’s team in the fight to save his planet from the angry god, Zolmes and she finds herself charmed by more than just the planet. The sexy lion shifter Laro, claims she is his lifemate, setting her passions ablaze. Stung by the sharp tongues and dissension of some of her crew, Erica pushes him away to focus on the lives of her crewmembers.

Can Erica accept a future with Laro or will she let hate and betrayal decide her fate?



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Would you call yourself a born writer?

Gabriella is a born writer and artist. Taryn has only begun writing recently. She was always an avid reader though and devoured books with a passion.

What was your inspiration for SWORD OF BETRAYAL?

It all began with Taryn’s short story that we named, Carnal Twilight. Our muses meshed and took the series from there. Sword of Betrayal is book 3 in our series the Crimson Realm Chronicles. The series really needs to be read in sequence for the reader to know the characters. We do leave the books with a cliffhanger, though we try to resolve issues in the stories as we go, then at the end leaving the story with something new happening and hoping the reader will be hungry to read all about it in the next book. The series is not just based on the one couple that it begins with. Many of the characters get a chance at their own story, though we have all the characters interacting throughout the books.

The idea for the series started as a tiny little 1400 word short story Taryn had written almost 12 years ago. An editor read the story and said it should be published. So Taryn sent it to her friend Gabriella and asked her if she would read and edit it. Gabriella did just that, but then her muse inspired her. We talked on the phone and before we realized, Carnal Twilight grew to over 4k and became the prequel to the Crimson Realm Chronicles and book 1, In Search of Pride. Gabriella Bradley and Taryn are now working on books 6 and 7 of the series.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Some of our favorite themes are fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction. That really comes through in our series, the Crimson Realm Chronicles. It has been a blast building the world and meeting our characters.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Gabriella and Taryn really mesh as writing partners. Carnal Twilight was published in June of 2017. We now have 5 books completed in the series and much more to come, including a series spin-off. It has been an exciting trip into the world Gabriella and Taryn have created together and we look forward to writing many more books!

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

We are having too much for to be disciplined 😊 That we are prolific together shows in that in six months we have completed a short story and five books, and almost finished writing book 6. Book 7 is already in progress.

We both wear so many hats, but we do love to pass the current WIP back and forth throughout the day. When one has something else in the pipeline to do the other works on the book.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

We haven’t really found anything challenging about writing the series. The challenging part comes later when we do the final fine tuning and proofing.

What do you love most about being an author?

Creating and writing the characters and worlds.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

We are published through eXtasy Books Inc. A company that has been in existence since

  1. Gabriella has been published with them from their start-up. They are a great

company to work with. Royalties are paid on time. The editing process is painless, and

coverart is fantastic.


Where can we find you on the web?

Taryn Jameson

Website: www.tarynjameson.com   Facebook: @TarynJamesonAuthor   Twitter: @TarynJameson

Gabriella Bradley

Website: www.gabriellabradley.com  Twitter: @gabriellabradley Facebook: facebook.com/gabriellabradley


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Author: Owen Sypher
Publisher: Litfire Publishing, LLC
Pages: 308
Genre: Religion/Bible Studies

The book of Song of Solomon is a spiritual book full of allegories or pictures where God used the natural to show the spiritual. By using the keys of understanding found in the Bible the author has unlock the hidden meaning of the book of Song of Solomon.


The book of Song of Solomon is about the love that Jesus has for his bride. When looked at from this angle a lot of the verses makes more sense.


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First Chapter:

The narrator is speaking.

Song 1:1 The song of songs, which is Solomon’s.

The first verse starts out describing who wrote this book of Song of Solomon.  We know that King Solomon wrote many songs, but this was considered his best ever because it is a song between a bridegroom (Jesus in type) and his bride.

We will use the following verse to show that Solomon wrote many songs.

1 Kings 4:32 And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five.


The bride talks in verses 2–7.

Song 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine.

What this verse is referring to is that as he kiss us with an understanding of his word and we respond back to him that there is a coming together of us and the Lord. We start to develop an intimate relationship with the Lord. What I mean by this is that we start to walk closer to him by doing his will in our lives. We come together by the renewing of our minds and can become one with the Lord. First we need to see what the definition of a Bible kiss is. As we look at what the word kiss means, we see two interesting meanings: one is to be put together, and the other is to be equipped with.

The Hebrew word for kiss is:

OT:5401 nashaq

  1. to put together, to kiss
  2. (Qal) to kiss
  3. (Piel) to kiss
  4. (Hiphil) to touch gently
  5. to handle, to be equipped with; (Qal) to be equipped

              (Source: From Biblesoft 5 computer program.)


So when we kiss the Lord we see that there is a joining or putting together causing us to0 come together with the Lord. What is happening is that the Lord will develop his nature in us.

In John 17 when the Lord was praying to his father concerning his disciples it was that we could be one with him and his father and each other. This was Jesus prayer concerning us, that we could come together

John 17:22-23 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. KJV

We can tie the second definition of kiss where it talks about being equipped with Ephesians 4:12 where the word for perfecting can be interpreted as the equipping of the saints. Don’t let the word perfection or perfecting intimidate you; all it means is a maturing or growing up in Christ. So we are kissing the Lord when we allow him to equip us or to take us through the perfecting process in order to put us into his bride. What he is equipping us with is his nature so that we will have the right nature to rule and reign with him as his bride. He equips us through the spirit of God and the word of God, and a fivefold ministry and the things we suffer has an effect also. Ephesians 4:12 shows us that he uses a fivefold ministry to help us in this equipping or perfecting of our lives. At the same time, he gives us his people to help us through.

Eccl 4:9-10 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. KJV

We have been kissed by his mouth when he gives us an understanding of his words, the words of life. And as we respond (kissing him back) by living these words that he has given us it causes a change to take place in our lives that cause us to come together with him. We develop a love of the truth and a deeper love for of the Lord.

Now let us consider the words that Jesus spoke about equipping us in the following verses:

Prov. 24:26 Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer. KJV

Truly Jesus gives us the right answers. I will use the following verses to show that Jesus used the word of God to kiss us, i.e., give us a right answer.  I believe Proverbs 24:26 is the key verse to understand what kiss is about because this verse ties lips in with a right answer or what a person is saying.

Matt. 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. KJV

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. KJV

John 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. KJV

We need to respond back to the Lord with a spirit of meekness in order to receive his word into our lives as stated in James 1:21 we do this by putting it to practice in our lives.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. KJV

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. KJV

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. KJV

Ps. 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. KJV

This word angry means to be displeased with. So by not responding to the Lord’s kiss or his word, God becomes displeased with us and the end result is we will lose out with God or perish from the way. Let’s look at the Hebrew word for angry.


OT:599 ’anaph

to be angry, to be displeased, to breathe hard

  1. (Qal) to be angry (used of God)
  2. (Hithpael) to be angry (always of God)

(Source: From Biblesoft 5 computer program.)


Ps. 7:11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. KJV

He is displeased with the wicked everyday because of the sin they commit; he would like to see them come to repentance and acceptance of his son in their lives.


Song 1:2 for thy love is better than wine. (love)

This shows to me that to have God’s love working in my life is more to be desired than wine or doctrine. Let’s first deal with his love or the love of God and then we will deal with the wine part.

The Greek word for love and for charity is the same. So charity (1 Cor. 13) is God’s love for us.

When 1 Corinthians 13 talks about charity which describes God’s love or his charity for us and the kind of love we need to have for others. He showed us his great love for us by sending his son to die for our sins and open up the pathway to immortality and eternal life for us.

1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. KJV

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. KJV

1 Cor. 13:4–8 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8Charity never faileth: KJV

1 Tim. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: KJV

When all is said and done the finished product in our lives should be charity or having God’s love manifested in our lives, and as his love start to develop in my life, his light will shine out in this dark world and others will be able to see it and magnify and glorify God.  God’s love will help us produce a pure heart in our lives.


Song 1:2 for thy love is better than wine. (wine)

Now to deal with what wine is, wine is a picture or type of doctrine in or it can be used as a picture or type of the Holy Ghost. Here in this scripture I believe that wine is a picture of our doctrine. When I think about wine I usually think of it as the pressing of the grapes together to get the juices out and then it goes through a fermentation process thus producing wine or alcohol. Wine can have an intoxicating effect causing one not to think or act right. We can become intoxicated or drunk on our own wine or doctrines and teachings and not be willing to consider other people ideas or beliefs. The reason his love is better than wine or doctrine is that if I truly love my brother, I will love him even if he doesn’t agree with me. It will help me keep the unity of the spirit until I come into a unity of the faith with my brother or sister.  My doctrine can actually separate me from others who might not agree with me.

Another reason his love is better than doctrine is that the wrong kind of doctrine will produce the wrong kind of spirit. A bad doctrine will produce a bad or hateful spirit, but the doctrine of Christ will produce a spirit that is full of the love of God. If I have the right spirit working in my life, it will allow me to listen to others who don’t agree with me and my doctrine, thus allowing me to finally know the complete truth of the scripture. The right spirit will help us love our brothers and sisters until we come into the unity of the faith or doctrineIt is the teachings and doctrines of the Bible that produce the right spirit inside of me.

I am using Genesis 9 to show that wine or alcohol in the natural sense can cause us to become intoxicated and not understand what is happening around us.

Gen. 9:21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. KJV

Now to apply the spiritual understanding to being drunk, this is a wandering or erring from God through false doctrine or teachings:

Isa. 28:7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. KJV

Showing that the wine or strong drink affected their vision, so if I have the wrong doctrine or understanding of the Bible that understanding can also affect my vision and/or judgments. Spiritually I don’t want anything to affect my vision, and in order to do that, we need to do as Proverbs 9 states that wisdom has mingled her wine or her doctrine. This means that wisdom was willing to put what she believes out there for others to see, and to also consider others’ beliefs and understanding in the light of the word of God. Asking questions like is it possible that what I have been taught is wrong? How does it compare with the Bible? Just like wisdom in Proverbs 9 was willing to mingle her wine we also need to have that kind of spirit so that if there is any error in my understanding I can get rid of it and go on with God.


Prov. 9:2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. KJV

Prov. 9:5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. KJV


Wisdom has killed her beasts or she has brought her spirit under control so there could be a mingling of the wine. She is willing to listen to what others have to say. This has to be done in a spirit of charity or love as I will show in Ephesians 4:2–3, and 13. **

I can be deceived by the wrong doctrine of the scriptures, thus the need to mingle what I believe about the Lord with others, but we need to have a right spirit as we are discussing our different believes. In Ephesians 4:14 and Ephesians 5:18  we see that the wind of doctrine can be used to deceive us and that instead of being drunk with wine we need to be filled with the spirit.

Eph. 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. KJV

Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit. KJV

**Eph. 4:2–3 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. KJV

**Eph. 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: KJV

The first thing here is the need to keep the unity of the spirit with a peaceful spirit until you come into the unity of the faith. As we go about trying to restore his truth we must have the right spirit to be able to listen to others point of view and consider what they are saying.  God’s love will help us have the right spirit as we mingle our wine or doctrine “till we come into the unity of the faith.”  That is why his love is better than wine.


Song 1:3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

The good ointment is the sacrifice that Jesus made not just in dying on the cross for us but also his living an overcoming life. What the overcoming life produced was a sweet smelling savour or fragrance unto God. He then poured it out unto us by giving us the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Having the ointment of the Holy Ghost working in our lives will produce a sweets smelling aroma in our lives just like Jesus had.  His name or his character is being revealed to his people this is causing them to start to purify themselves so that they can be just like him. They are working on overcoming the works of the flesh that is mentioned in Galatians 5:19 replacing the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit. As we work on overcoming the flesh that is how we show our love back to the Lord with the desire to be like him as mentioned in 1 John 3:1-3.

1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. KJV

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. KJV

Let’s break Song 1:3 down further for our understanding. First let’s deal with what is a name or what does a name stands for in the Bible, and then we will get to the ointment.  A name in the Bible can denote either someone’s authority, such as “I come in someone’s name or authority,” or it can denote a nature, or character. This next verse discusses name as a character:

1 Sam. 25:25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. KJV

This verse shows us that his name described him perfectly. Nabal means fool.


OT:5037 Nabal

Nabhal or Nabal = “fool”

a man of Carmel who spurned David’s messengers, then died of shock when he realized it might cause his death; his case was pleaded by his wife, Abigail, who became David’s wife after his death.

(Source: From Biblesoft 5 computer program.)


These next two verses show us that in proclaiming his name, God started to describe his character.

Exod. 33:19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. KJV

Exod. 34:5–6 And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 6And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth. KJV

The following verses show us how important a good name is and there is no better name than the name or nature of Jesus.

Eccles. 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. KJV

Eccles. 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. KJV

Phil. 2:9–10 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. KJV

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. KJV

Now to deal with what the ointments are.

Song 1:3 Because of the savour of thy good ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

Again, what this is showing us is that because of the sacrifice that Jesus made in overcoming his flesh which produced a sweet aroma which is causing those that want to overcome to love him enough to work on overcoming sin in their lives.

The ointment which was poured forth was the Holy Ghost which he poured out on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:33 KJV).  You could say that we had our head and/or our lives anointed with ointment or the Holy Ghost. We need to consider what savour is because ointments produce an odor, and our lives should be producing an aroma also.

Savour (reference Strong’s number 7381)

OT:7381 reyach—a scent, a fragrance, an aroma, an odor

  1. a) a scent, an odor
  2. b) an odor of soothing (a technical term for a sacrifice to God)

(Source: From Biblesoft 5 computer program.)

The reason his name is better than any other name is because of the sacrifice he made for us.

Genesis 8:21 and Ephesians 5: 2 are tied together. Just like Noah’s sacrifice caused the Lord to smell a sweet savour or aroma, Christ also produced this sweet aroma when he sacrificed himself; i.e., it produced an ointment, if you will. And he poured it out unto humanity on the day of Pentecost when he poured out the Holy Ghost. The sweet smelling savour came from the sacrifice.

Gen. 8:20-21  And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. KJV

Eph. 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. KJV



Prov. 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. KJV

This shows that hearty counsel is like an ointment. We get hearty counsel from the Lord through understanding his word.

Eccles. 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. KJV

Ps 133:1-3 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.  KJV

Let my head or the way I think and process things be anointed with the understanding of the word of God. Also in Psalms 133 the Bible talks about unity being like an ointment and how important this unity with the brethren is, for it is in unity that the Lord commands the blessings so I need to learn also to work in unity with him and his body. So we see that unity can also be anointment.


Song 1:3. thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

 Virgins are people who have not been defiled by men or the traditions of men. Thus, they would be people who are working on overcoming their nature. Revelations 14 is talking about the 144,000 bride members and one of the things that is stated about them are they are virgins. The following two verses will show us both a natural virgin and a spiritual virgin or overcomers.

Gen. 24:16 And the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up. KJV

Rev. 14:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. KJV

To get us to be a part of the group in Revelation 14 was Paul’s goal. Consider the next verse:

2 Cor. 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. KJV

To be a chaste virgin is more than just to have chastisement working in our lives, but it is a way of living our lives. That we may live pure and holy or separated lives, separated from the natural, carnal way of doing things.

The name of Jesus or his character is better than counsel or even having the anointing of the Holy Ghost in our lives, as great an experience as that is. Getting to the place where we have the nature of Christ is the end result of having both the counsel (word of God) and the Holy Ghost anointing our lives. If we will allow his nature to occupy our minds until it becomes our nature, we will be like him when he appears.


Song 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine:

This shows us that the Lord is drawing us unto Jesus and that we can have a close relationship with Jesus if we allow ourselves to be drawn to him. We always want to remember how much the Lord loves us, so that when we go through hard times, we can have a confidence and trust in the Lord no matter what we have to go through because we know how much he loves us.  Add that to our understanding of the Bible and it can and will hold us strong and steady unto the end.

John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. KJV

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. KJV

Jesus talking about his crucifixion was going to draw all men unto himself.

As we are drawn to the Lord it causes us to want to get our lives purified so we can be close to the Lord.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. KJV

Ps. 73:28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. KJV

Ps. 42:1–2 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? KJV

Heb. 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. KJV

This better hope that Jesus brought us is causing us to draw nigh to God. What this better hope is that we have a high priest in Christ Jesus who can be touched by the feelings of our infirmities.  Also the fact is that he has an unchanging priesthood that he will abide forever more death has no more dominion over him.

Heb. 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. KJV

Song 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee:

A brother in our church brought out this point; it says draw me (singular) and we (Plural) will run after thee. So we are called unto the Lord on a personal level but then it takes a corporate effort to go on with the Lord. There is no me and Jesus got our own thing going we need to be a part of his body. We need that which every joint (person) brings in order to increase or grow in God. We don’t always know when and who we are supplying strength to when we get together with God’s people. Look at the following scriptures:

Eph 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. KJV

Col 2:19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. KJV

We then see that the nourishment for the body of Christ comes through the joints and bands or the people that is why it changes more from a personal walk to include a corporate walk as well. We need each other in order to finish this walk with the Lord.

Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.KJV

Song 1:4 the king hath brought me into his chambers

His chambers are the assemblies in the body of Christ. Chambers are the inner most parts of the house where people retire to rest. This is where we can find rest for our souls, no longer having to work in our flesh. It is the Lord’s desire to have a close and personal relationship with all of us if we would let him.


Song 1:4 we will be glad and rejoice in thee

            We are rejoicing in the Lord because of where he has brought us to and the new relationship we have with him. Rejoicing in the Lord is where we get our strength because as we start to praise or rejoice in him, it causes us to magnify him and makes our problems smaller.

Neh. 8:10  Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. KJV

Ps. 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. KJV

As we start to praise and magnify the Lord it makes him bigger and our problems smaller. This helps us get victory in our lives; that may be one reason Paul said to give the Lord thanks in all things.

Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; KJV


Song 1:4 we will remember thy love more than wine.

This is talking about remembering the love of God in our lives is more important than our doctrine. If we will remember his great love for us it will help us go through all kinds of adversity in our lives because we know that he loves us and is working all things out for our good. And one of the greatest aspects of the love of God is that he sent his son to die for the sins of the world. Jesus after he conquered death than poured forth the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues on the Day of Pentecost, thereby shedding the love of God abroad into our hearts. And then he brings us to his people where we can feel the love of God thru them, and then the Lord start to giving us an understanding of his word to stand on all because of his great love for us..

1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. KJV

Rom. 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. KJV

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. KJV


Song 1:5–6 I am black, but comely, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon. 6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

Song 1:5–6 I am black, but comely

Again this has nothing to do with nationality or race but what is being said here is that I am different or stick out from the rest of the world and what also makes me comely or beautiful is because of the effect that the sun (Jesus) has had upon my life.

            Spiritually speaking this means that we have been exposed to the sun (Jesus) by the light of the gospel causing a change to take place in our lives. God is working with us not only to deal with our sins but to also overcome them. This will cause us to be changed and look differently than the world because we will act different than the world. And people can recognize the life of Jesus being manifested unto the world through our lives. The process of overcoming our natural will and spirit by the trials and tribulations that we are going through will make us comely or beautiful in the eyes of the Lord.

This is what makes us as beautiful as the tents of Kedar and the curtains of Solomon.

2 Cor 4:4-6 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. KJV


Song 1:5 as the tents of Kedar. (according to Strong’s number 693,8 a descendant of Ishmeal)


OT: 6938 Qedar

Kedar = dark

as a proper noun, masculine:

  1. a son of Ishmael

as a proper noun, people

  1. the descendants of Kedar

(Source: From Biblesoft 5 computer program.)


Here the writer is describing themselves as black as the tents of Kedar. We know that Kedar was the second son of Ishmael who was the son of Abraham by Hagar.  Based upon Ps 120 it appears that they were a war like or military type of people and also they were nomads hence the tents. Their tents were made out of black goats hair thus the black as the tents of Kedar. If this is the case than what made them so beautiful would be that they were probably organized when they set up camp, showing having some order in their lives This would be just like when Balaam came to Baalak to curse Israel in Numbers 24:2-5.  The higher he got the more beautiful the camp of Israel looked.

Ps. 120:5–7 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar! 6 My soul hath long dwelt with him that hateth peace. 7 I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war. KJV

Num 24:2-5 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. 3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 4 He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! KJV

Consider also  in dealing with being black but comely, the tabernacle in the wilderness was not very pretty on the outside but beneath all the curtains you would have found gold inside showing us not to  judge on the outer appearance but look for the things that God has done on the inside.  Spiritually speaking we might look black and not so pretty on the outside, but inside or under those coverings there is something of great value that God has put in to our lives. God has put some gold or understanding of his word that is changing our lives.


Song 1:5 the curtains of Solomon

These curtains or veil of the temple were bright and colorful similar to the curtain in the tabernacle in the wilderness. Now since Paul said that this curtain was a picture of Jesus flesh what this is saying is that because of Jesus shining (the sun has looked upon me) in our lives that it can produce that same beautiful life before the Lord in our lives.

2 Chron 3:14  And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubim thereon. KJV


I believe that “the curtains of Solomon” is talking about the veil that separated the holy place and the most holy place in the temple of Solomon.  Behind this veil or curtain was the ark of the covenant which represented the place where God dwelt. (Until the temple was built they would carry this ark around on the shoulders of the priest, it would be covered with a blue cloth. After the temple was built they moved the ark behind this curtain and the priest would go behind this curtain once a year on the Day of Atonement when a sacrifice was made for himself and the sins of the people the priest would go beyond this veil where he would present the blood of the sacrifice before God. Paul in Hebrews 10:20 tells us this curtain is a picture of Jesus flesh so in this case this curtain would represent the live that Jesus lived in this flesh a life of overcoming. How beautiful was that life that he lived. This means that he was able to take the different natures and produce righteousness in his life.

Look at some of these colors of the curtain Red, Blue, white, purple, and cherubim’s. Consider these types for the meaning of the colors.

Red is man’s color that is what the name Adam meant was red.

OT:120 ‘adam —

1)         man, mankind

  1. a) man, human being
  2. b) man, mankind (the much more frequently-intended sense in the Old Testament)
  3. c) Adam, the first man
  4. d) a city in the Jordan River valley


OT:121 ‘Adam —

Adam = “red”


1)         the first man

2)         a city in the Jordan River valley

From Biblesoft 5 computer program

Blue being God’s color because it is the color of heaven. Also in Exodus 24:10 talks about sapphire stones which to me is blue although there are other colors of sapphires.

Ex 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. KJV

Purple is Jesus color because it takes blue and red to make purple.

White being righteousness because of Revelations 19:8

Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. KJV


We use Mark 15 to show that this rending or tearing of the curtain or veil at the time of Jesus crucifixion was a picture or type of Jesus overcoming his flesh.

Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. KJV

Heb. 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh. KJV

See this way was opened up to us by Jesus overcoming live and the way this applies to us is that we are being changed into the same image as he is, hence as beautiful as the curtains of Solomon or we are having the same overcoming life.

1 Cor. 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. KJV

There is coming a day when we will no longer be looking at the Lord through our flesh but we will see him as he is.

2 Cor. 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. KJV


Song 1:6 Sun (the sun is Jesus)

Jesus is the sun of righteousness, and if we will allow our flesh to be exposed to his righteousness through his word, he will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Darkness or ignorance can hide a lot of imperfections but just like natural light exposes all the imperfections because you can now see it so also does the word of God in our lives, the word of God will expose our sins and our sinful natures so that we can deal with them..

Ps 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple. KJV

1 Cor 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. KJV

Let’s deal with some scriptures on the sun exposing our sins first a couple of scriptures to show that Jesus is the sun.

Ps 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.KJV

Mal. 4:2 Shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings. KJV (talking about Jesus)

Ps. 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. KJV

Ps. 90:8 Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. KJV

Ps. 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. KJV

1 Tim. 5:24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. KJV

In 1 Timothy 5:24 These men were able to take care of their sins because they had been exposed to the light of the gospel so that they can deal with their sins before judgment time.

James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. KJV

Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. KJV

Acts 4:13 shows us that the apostles were affected by being exposed to the teachings of Jesus.

Song 1:5 Look not upon me, because I am black

You could look at this statement as this woman (bride) is sad because she has gotten sun burnt from being out in the sun too much and that would be valid observation.  This statement comes after she said she was comely or beautiful. Let’s consider if you will that what she is saying is don’t look on the outward appearance because the sun has been shinning in my life. She says she is as beautiful as the tents of Kedar and the curtains of Solomon.


Song 1:6 my mother’s children were angry with me.

Our mother is the early church and my mother’s children would be the different religious sects that came out of the early church. All Christendom can trace their beginnings back to the early church.

Gal. 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. KJV


Song 1:6 were angry with me

The reason they are angry or again displeased with us is that some people do not want to live an overcoming life but live after the flesh and are angry because our lives of righteousness will condemn them in the sense that they know that they should be living the same kind of life.

John 3:19–21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. KJV

They want to come under his covering or to be called by his name to take away their reproach.

Isa. 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. KJV

I am using Isaiah 4:1 to show the spirit of a person, I want to do my own thing but I want to be called by the name of Christ so that there is no reproach to the way I am living. To show how it takes away our reproach it is like the saying we are not perfect but just forgiven.  Yes we do fall short of the glory of God and do need to be forgiven and he is just to forgive us, however the apostle Paul in Romans6:1 said should we continue in sin that grace may abound.  His answer was God forbid.  So we see a need to change our sinful nature.

Song 1:6 they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept.

We use this verse in the context of ministers taking care of other churches before coming to the body, but let’s use it on a more personal level. To be clear what I am talking about is I can tell others how to change their lives and neglect the changes I need to be making in my own live.  I will use the vineyard as my life and that I can get so busy trying to help others straighten out their lives, or their vineyard, that I never take care of the things (sin) in my life that I need to overcome. In the process I neglect my own vineyard and it produces thorns instead of the fruits of righteousness that God is looking for. If I will work on taking care of my life the helping of others will come with the changes that the Lord is making in my life.

Prov. 24:30–31 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding.

31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. KJV

By being slothful this person’s field was unusable for growing things, so what is being slothful.

Being slothful is not just being lazy, but it also includes be neglectful. This is important. While I wouldn’t consider myself lazy, I can be neglectful in not just life but also in the things of God. So what we see in the scripture above is a person who has neglected his fields and they have overgrown with thorns.

Thorns are the deceitfulness of riches and other things that crop up in my life that take away from the word of God working in my life (Matt. 13:7, 22).

Heb. 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. KJV


This is still the bride talking to Jesus.

Song 1:7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

Jesus is the shepherd and we are the flock of his pasture.

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: K JV

Ps 100:3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. KJV


Song 1:7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest

Can you tell me where Jesus is shepherding his flock or where he is feeding his church? Where does he give his people rest from this world? We will find it is a place where there is life for your soul, a place of green grass. Feedest refers to being a shepherd, which is the number one definition of the word.


OT:7462 ra`ah —

1)         to pasture, to tend, to graze, to feed

  1. a) (Qal)

1)         to tend, to pasture

  1. a) to shepherd
  2. b) used of a ruler, used of a teacher (figurative)
  3. c) used of people as a flock (figurative)
  4. d) shepherd, herdsman (substantive)

2)         to feed, to graze

  1. a) used of cows, sheep, etc. (literal)
  2. b) used of an idolater, of Israel as a flock (figurative)
  3. b) (Hiphil) shepherd, shepherdess


2)         to associate with, to be a friend of (the probable meaning)

  1. a) (Qal) to associate with
  2. b) (Hithpael) to be companions

3)         (Piel) to be a special friend

(Source: From Biblesoft 5 computer program.)

Side note: (I was asked to explain what is  an idolater; an idolater is someone who served false gods and it appears from Paul’s writings that they would eat the sacrifice after it was offered 1 Corinthians 8:8-13.)

Ps. 23:1–2 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. KJV

Ps. 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. KJV

When Jesus fed the five thousand in John 6, he made them sit down on green grass, showing that he was going to be a shepherd to the people. While we can get things from God’s word on a daily basis on our own, there is also a part that the ministry plays in our understanding of his plan. Notice the order in which he fed the multitudes: he first gave food to the disciples and then they fed the multitude.

John 6:10–11 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. KJV

John 6:10 sat on much grass.

(Mark 6:39 mentions that it was green grass; green represents life, or a place of life.)

So we see that Jesus will feed us in green pastures or on the green grass, but there is an order to how he does this, and it is through his ministry.


Song 1:7 where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon…

At noon which is the middle of the day when it is starting to get hot. This would be the times of adversity in my life. Where do I go to find rest for my soul? I find rest for my soul when I put my trust and confidence in him, even when things are going against me.  We go through chastisement or trails in our lives to help us line up with God’s word and his ways so we can be like him.

Ps. 94:12–13 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; 13That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. KJV

Ps. 125:1 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever. KJV

Prov. 3:5–6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. KJV


Song. 1:7 for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

This message that we have found about being in the bride is of great value. Are we willing to do what it takes to keep it and not turn aside from following the Lord? We can be turned aside by following false doctrine or the traditions of men instead of the true gospel of Christ. These companions are people who are preaching a different message than the one Jesus and the apostles preached, which was a message of overcoming the flesh and being in the bride of Jesus Christ.

2 Cor. 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. KJV

Gal. 1:7–8 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. KJV

Acts 13:10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? KJV


Here in Mathew 13 is someone who found something of greater value than what he had and sold everything he had to buy it. What I have does not compare to what I can get from serving the Lord so am I willing to sell all I have to buy that field? What I have to sell would be my religious ideas, my own way of doing things, etc.

Matt. 13:44–46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. KJV


In verse 8 Jesus responds to the bride.

Song 1:8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.

We need to follow in the footsteps of the early church and the apostles if we want to find the way of the Lord.  We need to find and use the teaching which Jesus and the apostles taught as our blueprint for our lives, the old paths and walk in them and it will cause us to live a righteous life. We need to quit walking in our own way and start following the Lord because the way that seems right to men but the end thereof is death I need to find his way and follow him.

Jer. 6:16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. KJV

Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.


Isa. 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. KJV

There is a highway (higher than the ways of men) that will lead us all the way to the top of Mount Zion. And it is found in the next verse where Jesus said I am the way.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. KJV

Rev. 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. KJV


Song 1:8 Shepherds’ tents

Notice it is not just one shepherd but many shepherds, denoting that it is going to take a ministry to get the job done, not just a minister. Also realize that Jesus came and established a ministry to help with his salvation plan. I need to find where the ministry of Jesus Christ is and start to rest beside their tents, actually I need to go inside and make myself a part of the body of Christ. The shepherds’ tents are the assemblies in the body of Christ and they surround the main shepherd tent, which is Jesus of course. What this means to me is that the Lord has put a fivefold ministry over his church that is to lead (or guide) his flock to green pastures and feed them with the word of God and counsel.


Jer. 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord. KJV

Eccles. 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. KJV

The one shepherd is Jesus, and the masters of assemblies are the pastors of his body. Therefore, let’s stay here (actually go inside one of the tents) by the shepherds’ tents so the shepherds can take care of us.


Song 1:9 I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.

Here Solomon (Jesus) is comparing his love or the bride to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots.  To understand this we need to understand what a company of horses is and what kind of quality do they have that would cause Jesus to make this comparison.


This is what Solomon or Jesus was comparing his love to a company of horses.


The question should be: what made them so valuable? Horses denote a sense of power and of might, an unbeatable strength. Look at the following scriptures; we will use them to tie horses and strength together, thereby showing that horses are a picture of strength.

Ps. 33:17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. KJV

Ps. 147:10 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. KJV

We know that these horses of Egypt were of great value because in 1 Kings 10:28 Solomon would go to Egypt to buy his horses from Pharaoh.  In today’s langue Solomon would go to Pharaoh to arm or equip  his army with the very best that money could buy, and that was horses and chariots out of Egypt.

1 Kings 10:28–29 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 29And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means. KJV

I don’t know a lot about horses but why wouldn’t Solomon have bought Arabians instead of these horses? Remember that the bride is compared to a company or group of these horses, so these horses were probably war horses intended for battle. So the question is: what kind of qualities are you looking for in a horse?

  1. One of the qualities I would be looking for is endurance. Can it still have the ability to keep going even after a long day in the heat? Jesus said he that endures to the end shall be saved.
  2. Another quality is being able to get along with the other horses, showing that we need to be able to blend our spirits together, to work together in unity with one another.
  3. They have been through the battle and came out victorious. They are not afraid of the battle, so we should not be timid about the trials and tribulations that the Lord puts us through.
  4. A horse should have some strength about him, and we know that our strength comes from the Lord.

We will have some of the same qualities as these horses have because of what the Lord has worked out in our lives. We are not looking for our natural strength to get us through the battle but the strength that comes from the Lord.

Ps. 18:32 It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. KJV

2 Cor. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. KJV


Song 1:10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows of jewels, thy neck with chains of gold.

The cheeks are dealing with our mouths and the rows of jewels being our teeth showing that the bride has a maturity that allows her to eat and process the things of God, even the hard things of God. The neck is a picture of our will. We will go over some scriptures later on this idea of our neck being a picture of our will. Putting chains of gold around our neck is showing us that God has given us wisdom to the point that we can have strength or authority over our own will  because of the things that we have ate out of the word of God.  Jesus showed us that he had authority over his will in the garden when he said not my will but thine be done.

Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. KJV

First let’s deal with the jewels of her cheeks and then we will deal with the chains of gold.

Jewels deal with knowledge,

Prov. 20:15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel. KJV

We see here is that our lips and the things we do can be a precious jewel.

In Hebrews 5:12-14 we see that strong meat or understanding of the Bible belongs to those who are of full age and because they have reached a level of maturity in the Lord that they don’t always have to have milk because they have become skillful in the use of the word of God.

Heb. 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. KJV



Song 1:10 thy neck with chains of gold

Chains of gold show authority in the Bible, and the neck is a picture of our will. This would then be showing us that we can have authority over our will. We can bring our will into subjection to the word of God through the spirit of God. Because of what we learn (eat) out of his word and as we incorporate it into our lives we are becoming subject unto God’s will for our lives.  Look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 the purpose of these weapons is so that we can bring every thought into obedience of Christ.

2 Cor. 10:3–5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. KJV

When the Bible deals with being stiff necked it is in association with self-willed, rebellious people who don’t want to listen to the word of God.

2 Kings 17:13–14 Yet the Lord testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

14Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the Lord their God. KJV

Neh. 9:29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. KJV

Prov. 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. KJV

Deut. 31:27 For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death? KJV


Song 1:10 chains of gold (continued)

And now I will show you that these chains of gold are a picture of authority. When Daniel and Joseph were made rulers, they put a chain of gold around their necks to show that they had authority.

Dan. 5:29 And put a chain of gold about his neck. KJV

Gen. 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck. KJV

Chains of gold or the authority that we get comes from  an understanding of God’s word. In the following verses, wisdom and instruction in righteousness are around our necks like a chain. We will see that we can bind the word of God around our necks (will).

Prov. 1:7–9 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck. KJV

Prov. 3:21–22 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. KJV

Sound wisdom and discretion can be grace to our neck, just like a chain or necklace can grace someone’s neck.

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: KJV

So we see that as we get an understanding of his word it starts to give us authority and power over our will allowing us to bring all our thoughts and then our lives into subjection unto the Lord.  So the chains of gold would be an understanding of the scriptures that empowers the new man inside of us with the tools needed to bring our will into subjection to the will of God and allowing us to live righteous lives. .

Prov. 6:20–21 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. KJV

Our father is God; remember when Jesus taught them the Lord prayer: “when you pray, pray our father which is in heaven.” So we need to keep God’s commandments, and our father’s commandments does come through his ministry so we need to listen to a ministry and our mother is the churchSo her law would be not only the doctrines, but some traditions that might not be found in the Bible but most importantly the Law of kindness or charity as stated in Proverbs 31 about a virtuous woman. 

Gal. 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. KJV

Galatians 4 is talking about his church which came into being on the day of Pentecost.

Prov. 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: KJV

Prov 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.KJV


Song 1:11 We will make thee borders of gold with studs of silver.

The “we” in this verse is talking about God the father and his son Jesus Christ, and that they will make some borders or boundaries in our lives by giving us a complete understanding of the word of God. Borders of gold or the understanding of the word of God, (that the early church had) will keep us in the way of the Lord. Studs (like the studs of a house) of silver for supports, the silver or understanding of the latter reign church will actually support the teachings that was found in the days of the early church.. The border is like a battlement that was put around a building to keep people from falling. The Lord wants to give us all the understanding we need so that we won’t fall into sin anymore.

Deut. 22:8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. KJV

Even the table of showbread in the tabernacle had a border on it to keep the bread from falling off. This table of showbread was found in the Holy place and had 12 loaves of bread on it. Eventually the Priest would eat this as it was replaced with new bread. Thus we use it as eating of the word of God. But the point here is that it still needed to have a border of gold around it.

Exod. 25:25–27 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table. KJV

Both gold and silver ties into an understanding of the word of God, we apply gold with the understanding that the early church had because gold is more valuable than silver and truly the early church had a far better understanding of the scriptures than we now have. Some of the truth that the early church had was covered up with the traditions of men, where men replaced the truth with a tradition Since Martin Luther men have been working on uncovering this lost or misplaced truth.  Silver would then be the understanding that the latter reign church would acquire, consider Psalms 12:6 stating that the words of the Lord is as silver. The key word in Psalms 12:6 is   ”as”, because this word ties the words of the Lord and pure silver together.

Ps 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.


The following verses shows gold also is a picture of the word of God.

Ps 119:72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver. KJV

Ps 119:126-1276 It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law.

127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. KJV


The bride is talking again.

Song 1:12 While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

Spikenard is an expensive perfume used in many ways and I am using it here to show that my life can give forth a sweet aroma or order, or that I can have a sweet spirit which is pleasing unto the Lord, we will deal with this later.


Song 1:12 While the King sitteth at his table.

The table refers to a church, so this tells us that if Christ, our king is sitting at his table or in his seat of authority as the head of the body, this will cause my life to produce a sweet-smelling fragrance. In other words, as I am overcoming by living the kind of life that Jesus would want me to live my life will produce a sweet spirit. The key is I need to let the Lord sit at the table of my heart and rule as the king of my life in order to produce this. Used to be that the head of the family or the patriarch of the family would set at the head of the table and mom would sit at the other end and the children would be at the sides of the table. It did re-enforce the order of our family without having to say anything about it.

The point I am trying to make here is if I will let Jesus be the Lord of my life and present my body as a living sacrifice to him, it will produce a sweet and loving spirit that the world will see. Thus my spikenard, or my spirit, will produce a sweet aroma.

Let’s deal with the table being the church. In showing that a table is a church or place of worship, consider the following verses.

Rom. 11:7–10 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: 10Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. KJV

Roman 11 is showing us that spiritually they had become blind. In reference to David, he said that their table should be made a snare, and they became snared with what they believed, having their eyes darkened.  Note: what I want to show here is that a table is connected with worship or what one believes, if I am not careful my table or believes can become a snare unto me and I can miss out with the Lord also.

Isa. 28:7–8 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. KJV

1 Cor. 10:19–21 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. KJV

This deals with the wrong way to worship God in that it talks about how they sacrifice to the idols, thus tying the two thoughts of sacrifice and table together. So then the king’s table would be the body of Christ where you can eat of the things of God and Jesus will be at the head of the table.


Song 1:12 my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof.

Again the point I am trying to make here is if I will let Jesus be the Lord of my life and present my body as a living sacrifice to him, it will produce a sweet and loving spirit that the world will see. Thus my spikenard, or my spirit, will produce a sweet aroma.

Spikenard is an oil that emits a pleasing smell, and it was used to anoint Jesus’s head and feet. Mary the sister of Lazarus did this for his burial in John 12:3.

John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. KJV

Eph. 4:32 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. KJV

Phil. 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. KJV

If Jesus give himself and it was a sweet smelling savor unto God than if I follow in his footsteps my live can be a sweet smelling savor unto God.


Song 1:13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me;

This shows that Jesus was bruised for our transgressions so that we could be healed from our sinful nature that Adam brought onto mankind.

Let’s first look at a definition for what myrrh is and then scriptures to show why this applies to Jesus. Myrrh was used as perfume and/or as medicine

When a myrrh tree wound penetrates through the bark and into the sapwood, the tree bleeds a resin. Myrrh gum, like frankincense, is such a resin. When people harvest myrrh, they wound the trees repeatedly to bleed them of the gum. Myrrh gum is waxy and coagulates quickly. After the harvest, the gum becomes hard and glossy. The gum is yellowish and may be either clear or opaque. It darkens deeply as it ages, and white streaks emerge. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myrrh.)


Interesting that there is a change that takes place during this process, likewise with us also as we go through this process with the Lord there need be a change that takes place within our lives.

Jesus being wounded for our transgressions or sins is like the myrrh tree being wounded.

2 Cor. 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. KJV

Isa. 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. KJV

1 Pet. 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. KJV

Also consider the fact that myrrh was also used for burial practices, therefore tying it in with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Myrrh was used in many different ways in the ancient world and was considered sacred by several cultures. The ancient Egyptians used the resin when embalming mummies. It was also an ingredient for incense, according to the Old Testament, and the New Testament states that Jesus was brought a gift of it, along with gold and frankincense, shortly after his birth. It has been reported that, in 65 CE, the Roman Emperor Nero burned a year’s supply at the funeral of his wife. (Source: http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-myrrh.htm.)


Song 1:13 He shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.

Here is a spot where the natural is used to illustrate a spiritual meaning.

Breasts depict our understanding of the Old and New Testaments because breasts are where mother’s milk comes from. I need an understanding of both the New Testament and the Old Testament in order to get a clear understanding of Jesus. So here when we deal with him (Jesus) laying between her breast what it is talking about is this:

The Old Testament points toward the coming of Jesus through prophecy, types, and shadows. The New Testament points us back to Jesus, and right in the middle of both of these you will find the four gospels which tells us about Jesus. Hence he is laying between the two breasts.

Here are some scriptures that will tie breast and milk together with an understanding of the word of God.

Isa. 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. KJV

Heb. 5:12–14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you

again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of

milk, and not of strong meat. 13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of

righteousness: for he is a babe. 14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. KJV

1 Pet. 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:


1 Cor. 3:2–3 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? KJV

In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul ties being a carnal Christian in with being a babe in Christ, because he fed them with milk and not meat.


The bride is talking again.

Song 1:14 My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of En-gedi.

Jesus is this cluster of camphire; this shows us that the Lord will be a barrier or protection unto us. We can be surrounded by Jesus and have our lives hid in him.

Camphire is a shrub that grows to a height of eight to ten feet and bears very fragrant, cream-colored flowers. The botanical name of the plant is Lawsonia alba. In ancient times it grew plentifully near En-gedi (Song of Solomon i. 14). Tristram (Natural History of the Bible, p. 339) reports having found it growing there. Camphire had various uses. Along with other fragrant woods (Song of Solomon iv. 13–14), it was valued for its perfume.

The shrub as used for protection (http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3954-camphire). Clusters of camphire were also used around the vineyards for soil erosion, just like the Lord puts battlements around our minds to protect us from the world.



Song 1:15 Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes.

Here Jesus is talking about his bride and says she has doves’ eyes, thus showing that we need to have a singleness of mind or purpose, that of being in the high calling of Christ, the bride of Christ. This is because doves can only see out of one eye at a time, we also need to keep our focus on the Lord and what he wants us to do.

A dove’s eyes are set so they can only look in one direction at a time. They are not easily distracted. This characteristic is attributed to the bride of Christ. She too is continually and steadfastly looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, no matter what distractions and “other lovers” may come her way. She simply cannot look away from the Lord.


Some scriptures on being single minded or having a single heart tying it in with the dove eye.

Matt 22:37-38  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. KJV

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. KJV

Sometimes in the Bible a dove represents the Holy Ghost because when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptize the spirit descended as a dove and landed on him. So can I look at things going on in my life through the eyes of the spirit? In other words, can I go through life being led by the spirit? This will help us by allowing us to see that the things I go through is working out something far greater than the sufferings that I am going through. Look at second Corinthians 4:16-18 show that we are keeping our focus on eternal things.

2 Cor 4:16-18 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. KJV


Song 1:16 Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green.

Here the Bride is talking about Jesus we know this because he is referring to as my beloved.

What makes Jesus so fair is also found in Chapter 5 talking about his character.

WE find that he only have immortality, the king of kings, always followed the leading of the spirit,has a transforming power.  We will go into more detail latter.


Song 1:16 also our bed is green.

I use the color green in Mark 6:39 as a picture of life because when the grass is green, and the trees are green with leaves you know there is life going through them, their life is not dormant. Our bed being green means that there is life in his church. A bed is a picture of a church because of the following verse, in which the bed and sacrifice are tied together. Sacrifice was the method of worship in the Old Testament.

Isa. 57:7 Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifice. KJV

 Mark 6:39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. KJV

I use the color green to show life, i.e., trees, grass, etc., are all green when they are full of life.Here Jesus fed the 5,000 and he made them to sit down on green grass or a place of life where he feeds us spiritually.


Song 1:17 The beams of our house are cedar, and our rafters of fir.

Beams are the boards that support the roof and rafters are the side boards that add additional strength to the roof.

Here the beams are showing us that we want to be enclosed with righteousness (cedar).  In another words I want to be thinking and meditating upon being righteous or doing the right thing. The Lord is going to have a church that is made up of righteous people, righteous but not self-righteous.

The following scriptures show us that the beams of the temple were covered with cedar and that the righteous are like the cedar, you will notice in Psalms 92 that the righteous is compared to both a palm tree and a cedar tree. In Psalms 132:9 the priests were suppose to be clothed (or enclosed) with righteousness (cedar).

1 Kings 6:9 So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar. KJV

Ps. 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. KJV

Ps. 132:9 Let thy priests be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy. KJV

2 Chron. 6:41 Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness. KJV

Isa. 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. KJV


Song 1:17 and our rafters of fir.

Since fir is an evergreen tree that stays green all the time, I like to use it here to show that we can stay full of life all the time. The Lord can put things into our lives through the word of God that will produce everlasting life. Because it is a rafter that holds up the roof, it shows me that we need to think about those things that produce life in our lives. For instance, what is it that I think about the most? Is it the things that please my flesh or the things that will please God? I should be feeding my mind with the things that will help me to have a righteous mind like am I reading the Bible every day, do I spend time in prayer, what kind of music am I listening to? What difference does music have on my mind? It is because there are certain words that go with the music and sometimes music can either stir up or calm my spirit so I need to listen to things that will help produce the right kind of spirit.

Ps. 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. KJV

Ps. 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. KJV

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. KJV

Matt. 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. KJV

Luke 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. KJV

So do I treasure the things of God and his word over the things that please my flesh?

About the Author

Owen L. Sypher is a devoted servant of the Lord. At eleven years old, he started a spiritual journey to discover and understand God and his word.

In 1979, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Since then, he has had fellowships with the same group. Song of Solomon is his first book.

You can visit his website at http://www.sypherbooks.com.



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AA Freda is an award-winning author. He’s written several novels with a third to be released in the first half of 2018. His first novel, Goodbye Rudy Kazoody, an award winner, is a coming of age work about a group of teenagers growing up in a New York City neighborhood during the early 1960’s was acclaimed by the critics. His second piece and just released, A Police Action is another coming of age story about two confused young adults caught up during the free love and Vietnam era of the late 1960’s. The inspiration for his books are always his lifelong experiences and people he’s met along the way.

angelo-photo_2Freda was born in Italy but grew up in New York City and now resides in Easton, CT, a suburb of New York City that offers him a tranquil environment that allows him to keep his finger on the pulse of the city he loves so much. A graduate of Bernard Baruch College at the City University in New York, he has served as an adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. Freda also served in Vietnam the subject matter of A Police Action. In addition to writing, in his spare time, Freda enjoys fishing, hiking, climbing and shooting pool.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, A Police Action. To begin with, can you give us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   

A: My book is about two young people starting out and trying to make sense of their lives. Complicating the process is a small war going on in Southeast Asia involving some two million soldiers. A war that our country, for political reasons, refused to even call a war. A Police Action is what our government called this illegal war.

The story details the conflict that these two young adults faced with the war and societies conventions. Sex, living alone, abortions, death and love are all brought out in this story. Can these two-people overcome these life and death situations and manage to hold on to each other? Can they find the love and fulfillment in their lives that they are seeking?

Q: What do you think makes a good Coming of Age/Historical? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: There are several elements important in my genre. The first and foremost are the characters. As young adults, you need to capture the complexity of the thinking in a young mind. I need to get the reader to think as a young person would. The historical part of my genre has a twofold importance. The first is to be absolutely accurate of the facts. The second is to make sure you take the reader to that time and place. Have them see clearly the era that the story is trying to convey.

A Police Action Cover jpegQ: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: The story is almost semi-biographical so the plotting came easy. Making sure I did not get caught up in the history was the hard part. I wanted to be certain that the character’s personalities were brought out in the book.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: This took a little doing and several rewrites. Since the protagonist is a smart, talented individual, but for all intent in purpose was a loser wandering around life aimlessly. I wanted to make sure I gave the reader the right blend of that contrast.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: The villain in the form of a Sergeant represents a metaphor. A symbol of the deception that authority, government and military was inflicting on common folks.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: To keep all my stories exciting and have the reader engaged, I always narrow my chapters to mini-sub plots and stories. Similar to a television serial. Never forgetting, however that each chapter has a job to lead the reader to a main plot or story line.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases, it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: In this particular instance, it was easy for me to write about the setting. Having fought in the Vietnam war it was simply reaching back into my memory bank and putting it into writing.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: No, I knew from the start the theme of A Police Action. The foolishness of the war and the effect it had on unsuspecting young people of usually poor back ground. Ordinary people who had values and ideals that may no longer exist.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: The craft and art separate with the editing in my opinion. The editor wants to make sure the story moves at a certain pace. The writer on the other hand would like to paint the reader a picture. Editing, while a key component in publishing, can certainly the creativity of the writer.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: First would be honesty. Don’t try to fool the reader. Paint the picture correctly.

Second is to be a story teller. Make sure the story you write about is interesting and engaging.

The third is to never forget that writing is not about the author, it is about the reader. The book will be around long after the author is gone.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A: There is truth to that. But it’s nice homework. Not toiling gruesome assignments or subject matters.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: No workshops but I can cite at least three teachers that encouraged me to write. These teachers provided me with positive attitude to continue to write. An attitude that I still maintain today.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: First, whatever you do, keep writing. Don’t ever get discouraged. If your work doesn’t come out right, go back and fix the errors but don’t give up. Be honest with yourself and your writing. We all can improve our craft. Athletes practice non-stop to get better. Writers should do the same.

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