Sunday, September 18, 2022

Who Do I Trust?

 Back when I was single and when I moved from Omaha back to Wisconsin, I lived briefly with my older brother and his wife, Jim and Laurie. They have three kids, now all grown up. Back then, the youngest, Kim, was still in a highchair.

I remember going out to dinner with them to a Chinese restaurant, and when the meal came. Kim declared her food was too hot, so my brother blew on it to cool it down. Kim waited patiently, and when Jim was finished, Kim began eating it. That’s trust.

She didn’t know if it was still too hot to eat, but she trusted her dad. If he said it was now okay to eat, that was good enough for her. 

Flash forward many years to when my wife, Kim (certainly not Jim’s daughter 😊) and I had our own kids. Hannah and Emily were still in elementary school. We had a jet ski and either Kim or I would take them out for rides. Either of us would drive, and Hannah and Emily- together or separately, would mount the machine and hold on tight. They trusted us to not crash or do anything too stupid with it.

My first year of teaching, I gave my seventh graders an assignment. Being a small school (72 kids in the high school and 110 in grades seven through 12), there was one social studies teacher: me. Sitting at my desk while the kids worked, I overheard one student ask another for help. Wayne tried as best he could and when he couldn’t go beyond what he knew, he said, “Ask Joe. He’s the teacher. He’ll help you.” Trust.

My last year as a head basketball coach, we faced a tough conference rival in the division championship for the rights to go to the regional competition. It was around a minute left and I called a timeout. One of my assistants turned to the other assistant and said, “Watch this!” confident that I knew what to do in the final seconds. It seemed I did, but we lost when the player, clearly open, slipped and fell as the pass was thrown his way and was intercepted. Trust.

Last week, Aaron Rodgers threw a pass on the first possession to a wide open rookie receiver. The pass was perfect. The pass hit the receiver in stride and would have been a walk-in touchdown. Instead, the ball hit the receiver’s hands, and the receiver dropped it. It was a long time before Rodgers threw the ball at him again that game.

Time and again, we face situations where we are asked to trust: someone else, a leader, God, our child, our spouse, ourselves. Sometimes trust comes easy, while at other times, mmm, not so much!

When that trust is crushed and betrayed, not only does it make us angry, but it hurts. It hurts deep down.

I’m not sure where I heard it or if it is original, but I told kids- my own or my team or my students, that trust is like a mustache. It takes a long time to grow, to shape, and to make it look presentable, but less than five minutes to shave off.

That’s what betraying someone’s trust does. We might try to trust again. Maybe. It might take a while, perhaps a long time. Maybe we got burned too badly and that trust never happens again. I’m certain that today, as the Packers play once again, Rodgers will throw the ball to that same rookie receiver, hoping the result pans out. Heck, I hope so too.

But I think we need to take better care of who we trust, and we need to take care to make sure we are trustworthy. Losing someone’s trust hurts- both the one who trusts and the one who is trusted. Take care of trust. Value it. Cherish it. Make sure you are someone who is and can be trusted. Something to think about …

Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

To My Readers:

In a couple of weeks, I should receive a preview of the cover for my ninth book, Fan MailThe publication date is March 30, 2023If you check out my author website at you will find more about me, my writing, my books, my new gig as Story Writer, and my new book, Fan Mail.

While you wait for Fan Mail to hit, I hope you take the time to enjoy my other work. The last four books have won thirteen awards, while my Lives Trilogy has won two.

If you have read one of my books, I would like to ask a favor. If you could go online and write a review or, at the least, give a rating on the book, it would be of great help. Both a review and a rating would be wonderful. The review could be one or two lines. It doesn’t have to be long. Just let others know you read it and hopefully, enjoyed it. Obviously, 4s and 5s are the best. Thanks for this consideration.

Connect with me on Social Media: 
Twitter at @jrlewisauthor
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Blaze In, Blaze Out: A Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Readers’ Favorite Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read! A BestThriller’s Editor’s Pick!

Eiselmann and O’Connor thought the conviction of Dmitry Andruko, the head of a Ukrainian crime family, meant the end. It was only the beginning. They forgot that revenge knows no boundaries, vindictiveness knows no restraints, and ruthlessness never worries about collateral damage. Andruko hired contract killers to go after and kill O’Connor and Eiselmann. The killers can be anyone and be anywhere. They can strike at any time. They care nothing of collateral damage. Andruko believes a target is a target, and in the end, the target must die.

Betrayed: Two Top Shelf Awards: 1st Place Fiction-Mystery; and Runner-Up Fiction-Crime; A PenCraft 1st Place Winner for Thriller-Fiction! A Maxy Award Runner-Up for Mystery/Suspense! A Literary Titan Silver Book Award Winner! A Reader’s Ready Recommended Read Award Winner! A Reader’s Favorite Honorable Mention Award Winner for Fiction-Crime-Mystery!

Betrayed is Now Available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback!

A late-night phone call, a missing kid, a murdered family, but no one is talking. A promise is made and kept, but it could mean the death of a fifteen-year-old boy. Greed can be all-consuming, and seeing is not believing. No one can be trusted, and the hunters become the hunted.

Spiral Into Darkness: Named a Recommended Read in the Author Shout Reader Awards!
He blends in. He is successful, intelligent, and methodical. So far, he has murdered eight people. There is no discernible pattern. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, do not know they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.

Caught in a Web: A PenCraft Literary Award Winner! Named “One of the Best Thrillers of 2018!” by 

Caught in a Web is also available in Audio Book, Kindle and Paperback!

They found the bodies of high school and middle school kids dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. A violent gang, MS-13, controls the drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors. They send Ricardo Fuentes to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson. But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay. Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else.  
The Lives Trilogy Prequel, Taking Lives:
FBI Agent Pete Kelliher and his partner search for the clues behind the bodies of six boys left in various and remote parts of the country. Even though they live in separate parts of the country, the lives of Kelliher, 11-year-old Brett McGovern, and 11-year-old George Tokay are separate pieces of a puzzle. The two boys become interwoven with the same thread Kelliher holds in his hand. The three of them are on a collision course and when that happens, their futures grow dark as each search for a way out.
Book One, Stolen Lives: Editor’s Pick by BestThrillers! Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner! A Crime Thriller finalist in the 2021 Best Thriller Book Awards!
Two thirteen-year-old boys are abducted off a safe suburban street. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents have 24 hours to find them or they will end up like the other kids they found- dead! They have no leads, no clues, and nothing to go on. To make the investigation that much tougher, Kelliher suspects that one of his team members might be involved.  
Book Two of the Lives Trilogy, Shattered Lives:
The boys are home, but now they have to fit back in with their families and friends. Their parents and the FBI thought the boys were safe. They were until people began dying. Now the hunt is on for six dangerous and desperate men who vow revenge. With no leads and nothing to go on, the FBI can only sit back and wait. A dangerous game that threatens not only the boys, but their families. 
Book Three of the Lives Trilogy, Splintered Lives:
Three dangerous men with nothing to lose offer a handsome reward to anyone willing to kill fourteen-year-old Brett McGovern. He does not know that he, his younger brother, and a friend are targets. More than anyone, these three men vow to kill George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and hide. A fun vacation turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Nation Reservation, high on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather. Outnumbered and outgunned, George will make the ultimate sacrifice to protect his adoptive father and his adoptive brothers- but can he? Without knowing who these men are? Or where they are? Without knowing whom to trust? Is he prepared for betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and death?  

Photo Courtesy of Kim Lewis.

1 comment:

Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe