Today I have a guest blogger. He is someone who I met at a writer’s conference and I think he, his wife and myself clicked, at least enough to consider ourselves friends. He has been gracious enough to help me with an article I’ve been working on and generously gave into my offer to guest for me. Enjoy!

Thanks Joe for sharing  your wisdom and thoughts!  





Earlier today I was chatting with a friend on Facebook. We met during a mission trip to Haiti with KTIS radio and Healing Haiti. Not four months ago we were delivering water in the slums of Cite Soliel, a part of Port au-Prince. Michael had just gotten back from a trip to Haiti. Mike Stoebner’s a gifted photographer and he goes down regularly to document different mission groups and what they do in Haiti.


At one point he mentioned the two of us going back. My heart kind of bumped at that thought. Haiti is hard to explain to anyone who’s not been there. It either captures your soul or scares you so badly that you want nothing but OUT!!!  I fall into the first group. My heart is in Haiti. I support two orphan girls there through Healing Haiti. I think about it almost every day. And I’m so blessed to have made a mission trip there with Michael and some of my other new friends.


While we were chatting the repairman came up from my basement. The computer controlled demand water heater was on round 1,483,308 of trouble. The stupid thing. He had an update.


It dawned on me later that those are good problems to have. The water heater cost more than the average Haitian earns in 4 years. And I had one. I have fresh water on demand, and usually the option of it being heated to a toasty 120 degrees. The people in Cite Soliel don’t even have fresh water on tap, much less heated. 


I have plenty to eat, plenty to drink, a nice house, and nothing but first world problems. A defective computer fault on my water heater is the biggest challenge I face today. Nothing existential. 


I’d have to consider that a blessing. God takes very good care of me and my family. I’m healthy, wealthy, and working on wise. Someday perhaps. 


In the meantime, I have to ask if you’ve let “first world problems” skew your perspective on the blessings you have in life? Do you pray to God and thank Him each day for the rich and wonderful life you have in the United States? Are you aware that even a bad day here is a pretty good day most other places?  


Please take a few minutes to ponder that set of questions. And if your heart moves you to do so, drop on by Healing Haiti  and support them. I have a sneaking hunch that it will make you feel better almost immediately. 


And I hope your water heater is doing better than mine. 



Joseph R. Courtemanche

. . .


Joseph Courtemanche is a former Police Officer and certified Middle East, North Africa analyst. He is a distinguished veteran of the Naval Security Group of the United States Navy and is a former Arabic linguist. His linguistic and intelligence experience provide the background that’s crucial to his writing in the Action/Thriller genre. He is a graduate of The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and holds degrees from two other colleges.


Joseph writes his novels from a Christian perspective with the gritty realism that modern readers demand. His as-yet-unpublished Assault on Saint Agnes won Second Place in the prestigious Athanatos Christian Ministries 2013 Christian Novel Contest.


His extensive technical background includes a degree in Computer Science, experience in cryptology, and a large vocabulary in the military, scientific, and medical fields. Joseph has also worked in such varied fields as medical transcription and technical writing.


Among his performing endeavors, he lists being a professional Santa Claus (Official Santa for the Minnesota Vikings) and an extensive background in radio and television commercials. His voice over work includes a two-year stint creating audio books for the blind as well as reading the newspaper live on the air for the Minnesota Society for the Blind and Vision Impaired.


Joseph and his wife live in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with their two Shetland Sheepdogs in an old Victorian home. He blogs several times a week at http://www.commotioninthepews.com. His writing covers every topic from old music videos to current political events – all with a Christian worldview. You can follow him on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/josephcourtemancheauthor His twitter feed is @joecourtemanche.


His writing motto is


Biblical-Strength Heroes for a Modern World