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.