Monday, November 9, 2015

Christian2Christian - Part 2

A reviewer recently asked a valid question, or two. Since I’m addressing the Spiritual side of my story, The Wishing Well Curse, I thought I’d address his questions.

The reviewer said in the summary paragraph: 

“Speaking of the mystery. I wasn't offended by how you ended it, but to be honest, it felt... It felt like you took the easy way out. I'll tell you what I expected. I expected Zeke to die. Blood often foreshadows bloodshed, and every time Zeke went near the well, his tattoo bled. Somehow, someway, he would have to give his life to end the curse. Instead, all he had to do was lead a ghost to Christ, dump some ashes down a well, and read a prayer. If it was that easy, why couldn't his great-great-whatever have done it? Oh, that's right. The fourth generation thing. Never mind that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us or that Luther was a Spirit-filled believer. Until Zeke came along, His hands were tied. (Seriously, was that legend really more powerful than GOD?)”

Good question! 

Well, the reason Zeke didn’t die is because the story was about Zeke coming around to his own salvation. The blood shed by his tattoo represented Jesus’ blood reaching out to him to bring him back to the savior. He didn’t have to give his life (Zeke) because Jesus has already done that. His mission was to bring peace back to the people who had been held hostage by the curse (or by the guilt). 

Aren’t we all held hostage by our guilt when we do not repent and receive God’s forgiveness? The ghosts at the well were held hostage by the curse (as satan tries to make us believe), but also by love. They represent us letting the past dictate our present and our future. (I feel the Jabez Prayer releases us from that tie to the past.)

Now, the big question: 

"Instead, all he had to do was lead a ghost to Christ, dump some ashes down a well, and read a prayer. If it was that easy, why couldn't his great-great-whatever have done it? Oh, that's right. The fourth generation thing. Never mind that Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us or that Luther was a Spirit-filled believer. Until Zeke came along, His hands were tied. (Seriously, was that legend really more powerful than GOD?)”

As I said in Christian2Christian Part 1, All my stories are wrapped around Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

The premise of this story is that God knew Zeke even before Uncle Luther was born. This entire scenario was all part of God’s plan to bring Zeke back to the family of God. This reviewer is right, “Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.”  Exactly! Once Zeke acknowledged Jesus as his Lord and Savior, he then (through God’s power) was able to overpower the bonds of the curse and release the family from the multi-generational curse, because God loved him long before he was a twinkle in his mother’s eye. This was Zeke’s pre-destined opportunity to reunite with the one who matters most, Jesus. The legend was NOT more powerful than God, the legend was how God reached out to Zeke.

The bottom line, as always, is: this is a work of fiction. I'm simply saying "what if..." It's not a work of theology. But I appreciate the reviewer's comments and the opportunity to sit back and think about what my intentions were when writing this story. And I appreciate this opportunity to share with you, my blogger friends. Leave me a comment is you wish, or share this blog on FB or Twitter. I write for God's Glory and pray seeds are planted for a harvest for His Kingdom. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Christian2Christian - Part 1

“The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them…This is why I speak to them in parables: Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”  Matthew 13:10-13

In my quest to be like Jesus, I write stories. He told parables to help the people understand the Kingdom of Heaven. My writing is my ministry. I write to glorify God. At least, that’s my goal, my intention. Every book I have published is a sermon, but I haven’t always shared what that sermon is. As a Christian, I assumed you recognized the message. And I’m sure you did. Others might recognize a descent story with some spirituality mixed in. 

Today, I begin a new Blog session: Christian2Christian where I will give you the sermon, the background of every book I have written. Just in case you didn't quite catch what I was aiming for, now you will know. And I hope it blesses you as it has blessed me.

The Series, The Spirit of Destiny Series, is based on Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” All three of the book in this series are wrapped around that idea: God cares about you and has for a long time, even before you were conceived. The things that happen to you are there to guide you not to harm you. Listen and grow from God’s lessons. He knows what He’s doing, even though we do not. We must trust Him, for this reason, and He will prosper us, as He has promised. 

In fact, ALL my books are built on this foundation. Because this verse dictates my own faith and trust.

But the first book, The Wishing Well Curse, is wrapped around 1 Chronicles 4:10, The Jabez Prayer. "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.”  Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request."

The obvious reason is because the main character, Zeke Clayton, had a one hundred year old curse to destroy. But, Christian2Christian, the real reason, the real message is SO DID I. This tiny verse from the Bible set me free. Therefore I wanted to demonstrate through my parable how it could set you, the reader, free as well.

This story, The Wishing Well Curse, as I have told before in my many interviews, was inspired by the song “If You Could Read My Mind” by Gordon Lightfoot

And that’s true. 30 years ago, this song inspired the beginnings of The Wishing Well Curse. But when I finally sat down to write it, it was 1 Chronicles 4:10 that drove the curse breaking story. 

How did that happen?  It’s a simple story actually, I set out to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelations several years ago (which I did and have done several times over, by the way) after I had rededicated my life. So there I was reading along in 1 Chronicles…and I have to be honest, I was bored to pieces but I kept trudging along…when all of a sudden 4:9-10 pasted before my eyes and my brain went, “What!?!”

I have a negative history with my mother and have spent my entire adult life trying to come to terms with it, and her. Our history affected me deeply and dictated a lot of reactive situations in my life which were very hard to overcome. But, when I read this passage, a light bulb came one. Literally, I saw the light!  What I’m saying is this passage illuminated in my mind that I could pray, as Jabez had prayed, and I could be released from this dominating influence on my life. It gave me hope and a sense of freedom I had never had. I was so flabbergasted by it that I took it to my Pastors and discussed my epiphany with them.

They pointed me to several publications discussing The Jabez Prayer and how it had affected others as well.  So my epiphany was not universally astounding for the world, but it was for me. 

And so it was for my character, Zeke. That’s why Zeke went through what he went through and ended up where he ended up. This was my sermon, my parable to plant seeds of hope and encouragement to others who might be dealing with something in their lives that wasn’t necessarily their fault, it had to do with a generation before them or farther back. 

But God can hear your prayer and grant your request.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9 

Did you recognize the sermon when you read this book? Does the Jabez Prayer have a special meaning in your life? Leave a comment and let me know. I'd love to hear your testimony. Christian2Christian iron sharpens iron.

Next time, I’ll reveal the sermon behind Thorns of Betrayal. I hope you’ll be here when I share that one. Christian2Christian, we share the mysteries that have been stored FOR us, not FROM us. 

The Wishing Well Curse is free on Amazon (e-copy) and $14.99 in paperback.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cover Reveal - Fertility Pirates

by Lynn Donovan

The Abraham Project Series
Book 1

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Book Blurb:
A mission of mercy, a mission of generational hope, six-hundred lightyears from Earth, until deception and greed leaves missionaries desperate to communicate The Abraham Project has been taken over by pirates. An overt message sent home by smuggling one female off-planet will hopefully start an investigation into the pathological profiteering when she arrives hysterical and claiming things that cannot be.

Enraged by the betrayal to her sister, Molly Jacobsen joins the next missionary installment—undercover. Her mission: to find who did this and stop the heresy. What she finds is so much more sinister than she ever imagined. Alone and without backup, Molly must determine who are her allies, and who are her enemies.

Dr. Deuce Abraham keeps showing up in Molly’s life—assigned to her sister’s case on Earth, best friends with her snitch, and enlisted on the next pilgrimage. Despite her abhorrence of him, the trainees take to him immediately, but how can she possibly trust the estranged son of the project’s leader. Yet, how can she deny his medical help with her sister’s case?

She’d do anything for her twin, but is this asking too much? Will the same thing happen to her? And, why does Dr. Deuce’s grey eyes throw off her equilibrium so easily? She must remain focused on her covert mission, or risk loosing everything, including her own fertility.

In the twenty-third century, six hundred light years away, in the constellation of Cygnus, there are two stars which comprise Deneb. Orbiting those solar orbs is a little planet called Omicron, which is home to a nearly extinct civilization of half wolf, half human beings. In desperation, they cry out to anyone in the universe who will help.
A small band of faithful missionaries hear their plea and vow a life-long commitment to help these people by bringing reproductive technologies and the Christian gospel from Earth. Funded by philanthropist, Austin Abraham, the team includes scientists, medical personnel, humanitarians, and Abraham himself. It is called The Abraham Project, a mission of supreme sacrifice. The crusaders graciously give and give. 
But someone has taken too much. Pretense and piracy taints the mission and the self-sacrificing soldiers of God are trapped—until one is smuggled back to Earth.
Molly and Kita, daughters of Pastor Levi Jacobsen, react to the initial humanitarian call with polar responses—one goes, one stays. But, when Kita miraculously returns hysterical, sterile, and clinging to a doll she claims was her baby, Molly goes undercover. Can she disguise her lack of faith well enough to fake a missionary spirit, or will she blow her cover and end up infertile too? 
Dr. Deuce Abraham, Kita’s doctor, is the last person Molly trusts. How can she possibly, he’s the son of Austin Abraham?  Worst yet, he has joined the next missionary team going to Omicron. The very one she is on as a covert operative. He has his reasons for going, and it all sounds legit, but how can she believe anything he says? Can she rely on what her mother calls her “gift of discernment,” or fall back on her tried-and-true gut instincts?  
With help from Gordon, an inside mole; AF, a mysterious contact; and God’s divine favor, she might have a chance to end this cradle of deception and black-market racketeering, if she can keep her mind focused on the furtive mission and not her tenacious heart.

Finally, she, with her baby in her arms, were escorted by the mechanical assistant to the open pod. Pastor Oliver rushed in and offered his left hand, a gallant gesture of assistance, or was he hurrying her along? She accepted the steadying proffer as she stepped up on the lip of the vertical egg-like structure, and leaned back against the cushioned padding. Michael snuggled into her warmth at her right side. 
“You’re absolutely sure?” She held the pastor’s gaze with concerned focus. “Michael will be all right?”
“Miss Jacobsen, I’m so sor—” He cleared his throat, his tone hurried. He glanced over his shoulder, fear tightened his face as he drew in a deep, resolute breath. A large hand gripped his shoulder and the pastor stepped back.
Her eyes followed his movement. Dr. Stork’s neglected teeth, exposed by a broad, exaggerated smile gave his over-indulgent face an ominous appearance, as Pastor Oliver receded behind his superior.
“I assure you,” Dr. Stork continued his mottled cheshire-cat grin as he twisted a valve on her IV line. “You and the child will be fine. You’ll arrive perfectly preserved as you are now. We anticipate no complications.” The Doctor glanced at the retreating pastor and continued. “I have seen to your medical file myself and promise you the healers on Earth will know exactly what to do for you when you arrive.”
Was this reality, or were the pre-hibernation drugs causing hallucinations? A pins-and-needles sensation radiated through her limbs. She tightened her hold on Michael. “Um, thank you, Doctor.” 
New tears sprang to her eyes. Could she trust what she was hearing and seeing? Was the doctor truly helping her escape with her son? “And…” He turned away, but she shoved a dead arm toward him to draw him back. “Thank you…for helping me.” Her words seemed slurred. She turned her head to try to focus her vision from the corner of her eye. “…helpin’ me keeb Mighel…and fur ledding us…gaw home.”
He tenderly patted her left forearm. “Of course, my dear. Any fertility assistance program must allow for a birth mother to have a…change of heart.”
She tried to smile, but wasn’t sure her face responded, as she watched the attendant administer a syringe into her IV tube. A soft hum grew to a loud buzz in her ears. Perhaps, she had mistaken Dr. Stork’s true intentions with the project. Perhaps, he wasn’t such a tyrant to the cause, after all. Before she could allow these new thoughts a place to settle somewhere in her mind, she heard a distant mechanical voice. 
“Just relax, Kita Jacobsen,” the attendant coaxed. It paused over Michael’s IV tube, but leaned in close to her face. “Count backwards, Kita Jacobsen, from one-hundred. Go to sleep, now, Kita Jacobsen.”
Concern filled her heart. Dr. Stork had promised Michael’d be all right. She was beyond the point of return now. She had to trust God, Pastor Oliver and Dr. Stork’s promise. Her eyelids, too heavy to remain open, drew closed. She pulled Michael in close to her side, at least, she hoped that was what she did, her arms were so numb now. She could feel the sedation’s pull on her conscience. 
The attendants continued to work like humming birds around her pod, flitting from one task to another. 
She swallowed hard and licked at her drying lips. She couldn’t move her head to look at Michael, but trusted he was still safely tucked at her side. “One-hunred…” Her tongue felt numb. “Niney-nine…” Her body seemed to float above the cushioned padding. Her heavy eyes, slow blinking eyes glanced over at the Doctor and Pastor. “Niney-eh…”
Wait! Was Michael in Dr. Stork’s arms?
All went black.

And now the moment we've all been waiting for:  The Cover

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you -- Fertility Pirates Cover

Graphics design by Cora Designs.

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Thank you for stopping by. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I appreciate your comments and your coming over to visit me today.