Every so often, it happens. I’m caught pleasantly by surprise at how the Holy Spirit uses an obscure passage somewhere in the books of the law (the first five books of the Bible) to make a certain truth fresh to my heart.
Here’s this morning’s culprit:
The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the LORD our God nor see his great fire anymore, or we will die.”
The LORD said to me: “What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in their mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.
I can’t speak for individuals, but it seems that the young nation of Israel had something that the western Church as a whole severely lacks: the fear of the Lord.
Hi there, dear readers! Good morning if this post finds you before noon and good afternoon if it finds you then.
I recently discovered Lydia Howe’s blog, Noveltea, (thanks, Jessica, for sharing some things from her on Goodreads). I was inspired by her review of the month of August and the goals she sets for herself. They have a fresh feeling and seem full of the joy of life. I thought I might try it with my own twist.
So from the 16th of September to the 16th of October, here are some goals for my blog:
Dear praying friends,
A friend of mine – referring to her own project which she’s inviting others to join – said it well: “I know you probably follow a dozen other blogs. There are hundreds of messages, lessons, and words floating around you each day. I don’t expect you to drop everything and join me.”
In the same way, I recognize that you may be surrounded by prayer requests and projects beg or beckon for your support.
But would you read on and quietly consider (with prayer if you need to) joining me in the following way?
River of Grace by Colleen K. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Collin Walker, a twenty-six year-old youth worker on the hard downtown streets of Oakton, Ohio, has come to West Virginia to an extreme sports challenge camp. Single and single-minded, she is there for one purpose: to show her ward, Robbie, that there is more to life than the ‘hood.’ Collin has no way of knowing that the week ahead will force her to face the river she has feared since childhood, a murderous assailant, and perhaps the greatest challenge of all: the possibility of love.
The first night there she meets the twenty-eight year-old camp maintenance man, Jeff Farrell. His easy banter, gentle humor and quick wit intrigue Collin. Through the week, as their paths cross over and over – and over and over – Collin finds herself drawn to the man as none before. Yet for all his openness, Jeff seems to be keeping secrets. Though he shares freely about his background, he hedges when pressed for details. He talks with familiarity about the camp owner but refuses to reveal the man’s identity. Collin suspects there is more going on than she is being told.
Then Robbie chooses to take the class in white water rafting and asks Collin to come along. Collin must summon all her faith to face her fear of the river. But when a serial killer makes her his next target will she still depend on faith to see her through? Can she “walk the talk” when the challenges of the week spiral out of her control?
This is the day!
Okay… so it’s not the day, as in the day that Jesus returns (as far as I know). Neither is it the day as in the release day of Isolated.
But it is the opening day of the Isolated blog tour. Six kind people have opened their blogs up to me and my debut novella, In doing so, they’re helping me gain some visibility with readers.
These bloggers are posting exclusive content on their blog, meaning that’s the only place where you’ll find it: interviews, reviews, spotlights… So for you who already know of Isolated, there is still some incentive in checking out their posts. Here is the schedule (links to be made clickable as the posts are published):
Monday, September 4th – Kellyn Roth, reveriesreviews.wordpress.com
Tuesday, September 5th – Lana, themusicofwords.wordpress.com
Wednesday, September 6th – Emily, apurposeandapromise.blogspot.com
Thursday, September 7th – Leona, GreatBooksForGodsGirls.wordpress.com
Friday, September 8th – Hosanna Emily, HavingaHeartLikeHis.blogspost.com
Saturday, September 9th – Crystal, purelybyfaithreviews.wordpress.com <—we are here!
God has blessed me time and time again through the small community of blog commenters who engage with me. Two weeks ago, we discussed the things about fiction that hinder us (born-again believers) as runners of the race marked out for us.
I’m grateful for friends who take the liberty to explore meaningful rabbit trails. One such friend said:
But then again, can reading even clean books become a waste of time?
There was a time where every book I read hindered my relationship with God. Not because of the book in itself or the content, but because I relied on the books to calm my anxiety, instead of relying on God. Sometimes, I still have to ask myself, “why am I reading?”. Is it to have a good time reading a book or to run away from my anxiety or responsibilities again?
I think that second comment captured one of the pitfalls that avid readers fall into.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
I once heard someone use these verses to teach that Christ-followers need to be wary of more than just outright sins. There are non-sins that would woo us away from Christ as our first love. That’s the “everything that hinders” that the author of Hebrews lists as a separate entity alongside “the sin that so easily entangles.”
I don’t know about you, but I speak for myself when I say that it’s those gray areas that stump me. Give me black and give me white. But if you put something less defined in front of me, I don’t always know what to do with it.
Last month, I re-reviewed an invaluable piece of beta feedback that touched on the character of Louise Stella from my novel, Isolated.
This beta reader suggested that Louise wasn’t exactly a likable person (and being the main character of the story, she ought to be). I agree! She’s quite frankly a proud character and it doesn’t usually come across as pleasant.
This reader went on to give me excellent advice regarding how to fix the problem: give more glimpses into Louise’s relationships. Show her part in the family. Show her caring for them and them caring for her. (This reminded me of a particular blog series I’ve been reading, the first post being this one.)
The last three days have not been the regular “day in the life of Jordy.” I’ve been reading the Terms and Conditions of Amazon and familiarizing myself with relevant legal jargon. I’m happy to say that after much reading, scrolling, reading and consulting relevant help pages, I finally submitted Isolated to Amazon in ebook form. It is now available for pre-order.
Avid Amazon users, correct me if I’m wrong, but that means that Kindle users can click to “buy” Isolated now. However, your card won’t be charged until the release date, the 11th of September. You also won’t receive the ebook immediately. Instead, you can continue on with life and the book will appear in your Kindle library on the release date. That said, I don’t have a Kindle device or library of my own, so some of you may well know better than me.
This has been an exciting few days for me. As at the end of any season, good or bad, I can look back and say God is faithful.
Let me know
- Do you own a Kindle device?
- Ebook or hard copy?
- Where do you like to shop for books, regardless of the format?