Tag Archives: Alcoholism

Faith – Seventy Times Seven (Matthew 18:21-22) Heads to Silver Screen

I was excited a few weeks ago when I received an invitation to present a screenplay to Amazon.com on my novel, Faith – Seventy Times Seven, but with it, my sadness started all over again from the words I had written in 2014.

Faith Cover Page for Kindle

buy from amazon.com

Before reflecting on the novel, the first thing I thought when I was contacted, was who could star in the movie. The Reverend Mrs. Ada Caston Slaton Bonds was the First Lady of the Louisiana Presbytery, the First Ordained Woman in the Presbytery, and the longest active woman minister serving the Lord in history. A modest, kind, beautiful and Christian woman, full of compassion, is necessary for her portrayal.

I thought of Audrey Hepburn, star in the Storm Queen, but she passed in 1993. And then I thought of Kathleen Byron, star in Saving Private Ryan, but she passed in 2009. Then, I sat down and began dissecting the novel to fit the many scenes that needed to be built for presentation of the script to Hollywood. Oh, I am still thinking, but it will definitely need someone just right. I stopped at Meryl Streep because my wife said let the filmmakers fit the part. Meryl and I are the same age and she is the same height and build as the Reverend Ada Slaton Bonds…perfect!

That is when it all started again. You almost have to be a writer working in creative non-fiction and trying to do justice in bringing to life a true and inspiring story of the trials and tribulations of the First Lady of the Louisiana Presbytery. We have all heard of Susan B. Anthony because she is on a small silver colored coin, but have you heard of Ada Caston Slaton Bonds?  Her spreading the word of God began at 10 years old down by an old walnut tree on the Red River outside Coushatta, Louisiana and continued until she was 77 years old.

“What did Jesus mean when He said that we should forgive others seventy times seven?”

When writing the novel, I had old letters, a diary from early on in her life, and knew the woman first-hand as she was my grandmother. To write each chapter, I had to imagine I was standing in her shoes. I am in my writing room putting the words on paper at an early hour of the morning, and I, again, can not stop the tears that fill my eyes. I felt her frustrations for over twenty chapters. Her life was riddled with the devil trying to break her spirit…to break her faith, but each time she found forgiveness. How? How was she able to battle the Devil with such strength.

Now, writing the screenplay, I am reliving the novel, and not able to stop the tears while following the Reverend Ada Caston Slaton Bonds as she finds forgiveness over and over and over…490 times and more.

Answer: Jesus said we are to forgive others “seventy times seven” in response to Peter’s question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18: 21-22). To fully understand what Jesus was saying, we must look at the words in the entire chapter, for Jesus was speaking not only about forgiving one another but about Christian character, both in and out of the church. The admonition to forgive our brother seventy times seven follows Jesus’ discourse on discipline in the church, Matthew 18: 15-20, in which he sets down the rules for restoring a sinning brother.

When Jesus said to forgive those who sin against us seventy times seven, he was not limiting forgiveness to 490 times, a large and unobtainable number to be reached in a lifetime. Reverend Ada Slaton Bonds with her forgiving heart never did limit the number of times she forgave herself and those of others, especially her husband, Sidney Slaton, an abusive alcoholic.  Not even when the Ku Klux Klan visited Old Progress Church in Pleasant Hill, Louisiana in 1920. Or, when the Boll Weevils destroyed her entire cotton crop in 1927. Or, when she lost her twin daughters in 1922. Or, when almost losing her life from starvation in the dark and dreary back swamps of north Louisiana from swine fever. She continued to forgive with as much grace the 491st time as she did the first time. This remarkable woman was capable of this type of forgiving spirit because the Spirit of God lived within her, and it is He who provides the ability to offer forgiveness over and over, just as He forgives us over and over.

I am pleased to write the screenplay and can only hope Hollywood can find just that right person to play the part of such a remarkable woman!


From Newest Novel from the Lincoln Assassination Series Due to Release June 29th, 2015…WHO AM I

The second novel in the 150th Anniversary of the Lincoln Assassination Series is scheduled for release in three weeks, The Lincoln Assassination – The Pursuit and Capture of John Wilkes Booth and the Trial of Davy Herold.

In today’s post, I would like to take a snip of the book from the Introduction…WHO AM I?

Who Am I? – God has Bestowed Many Blessings on Me. He Has Shown Me if I Fall Down, I Can Still Get Up!

HE SAYS I have a proneness for quoting scripture. If I should do so now, it occurs that perhaps he places himself somewhat upon the ground of the parable of the lost sheep which went astray upon the mountains, and when the owner of the hundred sheep found the one that was lost, and threw it upon his shoulders, and came home rejoicing, it was said that there was more rejoicing over the one sheep that was lost and had been found, than over the ninety and nine in the fold.

Verily I say unto you, there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. The Reverend Ada Slaton Bonds in an earlier novel entitled Faith – Seventy Times Seven, spoke weekly on repenting, leading all other women into the Louisiana Presbytery as the first ordained woman minister in the State of Louisiana.

  • When I was seven years old, my family and I were forced out of our home on a legal technicality (unclear land titles and court litigation)
  • When I was nine years old, my mother died from milk sickness
  • I was a rather shy boy and had to go to work to help the family make a living.
  • At the age of twenty-two, I lost my job as a store clerk. I was trying to make enough money to go to law school, but my education wasn’t good enough.
  • At the age of twenty-three, I joined a friend and we began a general store in New Salem. Three years later he died and left me with a failing business that took me years to repay the debt.
  • I met a wonderful woman at the age of twenty-four and when I asked her to marry me four years later, she refused and walked out on my life.
  • At the age of thirty-seven, I was finally elected to the United States Congress, having lost two times before.
  • At thirty-nine, I ran for Congress again and lost.
  • Following my reelection attempt, I had a complete nervous breakdown.
  • At forty-one years of age, adding to my heartache of an unhappy marriage, my four year old son died.
  • At forty-two I ran for the Land Office and lost.
  • At forty-five, I ran for the United States Senate and lost.
  • At forty-eight, I ran for the Vice President of the United States and lost.
  • At forty-nine, I ran for the United States Senate and lost.
  • Again, at fifty years of age, I ran for the United States Senate and lost, again.
  • At fifty-one years of age, I ran for the President of the United States and won.