Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Invasion


It started with the strawberries. Lots of holes in the leaves. I'm a haphazard gardener so it took me a while to identify the culprit. But on a sunny day when I was weeding and wondering why the strawberries were such a mess, I spotted them. Nasty red bugs. Everywhere. Huddled in masses. Destroying my Granny's rose bush, my strawberries, and everything else in their path.

Being an organic type, I squashed as many as I could before they scurried away out of sight. But there were too many for me.

What made this battle particularly poignant for me (besides the fact that I won't be canning any strawberry jam from the garden this year) was that I've had some nasty garden bugs chomping at my spirit lately, too.

It started small. Wanting my book to sell well. Not an evil desire. After all, God called me to write the book, opened the doors for it, and wanted people to read it, right? But soon more little bugs gathered. Wanting my book to sell better than others. Worry that it's not doing well enough. Craving approval from people. Obsessing over its ranking. Tiny bugs of idolatry. Sin.

Yes, sin. It's not a popular word. But when I take my eyes off my Savior, that's where my fallen nature take me. Self-centered, anxious, distracted, unavailable for God's changes of direction--chewed up by nasty bugs. The bugs in the garden reminded me of how ugly sin is.

And as in my strawberry patch, the infestation is beyond my ability to squash.

But the good news is, it's not too much for God. His sunlight reveals the pests. His forgiveness wipes them out. Completely. And soon He can bear fruit through my life again.

Have you spotted an invasion in your spiritual life recently? Let's ask Christ to forgive us and restore the garden of our heart.

Blessings!
Sharon

Monday, August 03, 2015

99 Cent Offer!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B85AMRW/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00B85AMRW&linkCode=as2&tag=sharonhinck-20&linkId=CBYPR4446YAD7YRR
Great news!
My publisher is offering a special on Stepping Into Sunlight for the next few days.
Only 99 cents for the e-book!

Stepping Into Sunlight

Penny Sullivan, a Navy chaplain’s wife witnesses a violent crime and struggles with post traumatic stress while her husband is on his first deployment.

Far from family and friends, she fights to heal for the sake of her seven-year-old son, even though ordinary tasks take heroic efforts. She’s haunted by flashbacks and is tormented by fear, so she designs a project to speed her recovery: doing one small, kind act for a different person each day.

REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS:

“Hinck, a 2008 Christy finalist for visionary fiction, offers an especially grounded tale of sudden trauma and slow healing...Hinck has done her homework on post-traumatic stress syndrome, and is not afraid to show readers that challenges can deepen faith.”— Publisher’s Weekly

In this uplifting novel set in Chesapeake, VA, Penny Sullivan is losing her grip after witnessing a traumatic event. . . Well written and compelling, this title will appeal to readers of Karen Kingsbury, Ann Tatlock, and Angela Elwell Hunt.” — Library Journal

“Like Sharon Hinck’s heroine, I, too, witnessed a crime. It’s been years, but I relived every emotion along with Penny Sullivan. Told with humor and lump-in-the-throat insight, Stepping into Sunlight is a compelling story of learning to live again after trauma. This was my first Sharon Hinck novel, but it garnered her a permanent spot on my favorite authors list.”Deborah Raney, author of A Vow to Cherish and The Clayburn Novels series

“With emotional and spiritual honesty, Stepping into Sunlight chronicles the rebirth of faith and courage in a young woman traumatized by the unthinkable. Penny, Sharon Hinck’s authentic and endearing heroine, is so convincing that I found myself, well, praying for her. That’s compelling fiction! I laughed. I cried. I asked God a lot of questions. In the end, Hinck’s concise yet poetic language ushered me into a worshipful place. Stepping into Sunlight definitely prospered my soul.” Patti Hill, author of The Queen of Sleepy Eye

Friday, July 31, 2015

Bonus Scene 8 - The Restorer's Son

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The Restorer's Son Bonus Scene

In which Linette sees Kieran's encounter with the One

After Chapter 28

Linette:

            The mist brushed my skin, soaked into my pores, breathed comfort and courage into my heart. I’d felt this tangible sign of the One’s presence before, but only during Feast Day gatherings, as I joined my voice with songkeeepers and musicians and thousands of people filling the floor of the tower.

           Today, one lone man knelt beneath the towering emptiness and carried on a silent conversation with the Maker of the world. As a timid onlooker, I was shocked that the One’s holy love touched me as well. The One was doing something I hadn’t known Him to do before. Instead of puzzling over the why, I savored Him. Every song I’d ever sung swirled in my mind in rich harmony, lifting my heart higher and higher. Tears poured down my face and I welcomed His touch. 

            When the mist lifted, Kieran still didn’t move. Had the encounter overwhelmed him? Was he all right? I eased closer and looked up at the windows far above us. The sky was a deep gray.

            “Kieran, it’s getting dark.” I touched his back, loathe to disturb his communion with the One.

            He looked up, wonder and purpose lighting his face. “Did you see Him, too?”

            I nodded. I would have loved to talk about the experience together, but night was too close and I needed to return to the songkeeper lodge. Once I was sure he was all right, I turned to leave.

            “Wait. One thing. If I can get the Council to approve it, do you think any of the songkeepers would be willing to go to Hazor to teach the Verses to the people there?”

            I frowned. This was the purpose the One had shared with Kieran? Of all the hopes I had for the One to protect our clans, sending our Restorer to our enemy would never have entered my mind. 

            “It’s not my idea,” he said, easing to his feet. 

            What could I say? The Council would never allow it. And what did his question truly mean? Was he asking my general opinion? Whether I knew of some bold songkeeper who would join him on that mission? Or did he specifically wonder if I would volunteer?

            I glanced up at the tower’s highest white stones, feeling smaller than usual. Holy One, is that why You allowed me this touch of Your strength? Is this something You might want of me? 

            “Yes, if it’s something the One is asking for and if the Council approves it, I’m sure at least one songkeeper would travel to Hazor.” I slipped away before I could take back the words. Would Kieran think I was willing to leave the clans? Did I want him to understand my answer that way?

            The streets were almost deserted so close to nightfall. Yet when I reached the songkeeper lodge, I hesitated outside the door. I couldn’t bring myself to go inside yet and enter the conversation around a warm meal, the chatter, the good-natured arguments about tempos for a song we had rehearsed that day. I needed time alone to absorb what I’d seen. 

            Since Dylan’s death, I’d spent as much time as possible in the Lyric tower. After Lukyan was injured, I was needed more in Braide Wood, yet whenever I could, I returned to the tower. If I could have rolled out a pallet in the corner of the tower, I would never have left.

            As Kieran talked to the One today, I’d felt the One as close as a father holding his toddler’s hands and guiding each wobbly step.

            The light that glowed in Kieran’s face made me marvel—perhaps even stirred jealously. I’d served the One all my life and yearned for the new fresh passion Kieran showed. He had the courage to answer, “Yes,” no matter what the One asked of him.

            When Dylan died, I thought the pain, the questions, the wrenching emptiness would destroy me. Still, I clung to my will to obey, to serve, to go through the motions no matter how much of my joy was stripped away. I didn’t reject the One. I continued to seek Him. But so much of my service felt lifeless and devoid of hope. 

I rested my forehead against the lodge door. Maybe that was precisely why the One had allowed me to witness His interaction with Kieran today. To restore my initial passion. To rebuild my faith. To coax me to live a life of, “Yes.”

--


You can find more of the story in The Restorer's Son

Blessings!

Sharon Hinck





Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Grateful


Heavenly Father, my heart swells with awe at the beauty of what You have created, and beats with gratitude that You could love a child like me. Help my life bring You glory. Amen.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Sword of Lyric Party

Super-fan Nina Ruth hosted a party to celebrate the release of The Deliverer.

Swords and cloaks were the dress code.

The menu included ground caradoc sauteed with wild Braide Wood vegetables; lehkan cream & fermented orberry; Rendor wild greens; Clavo; and Hazor Delight for dessert.

The table games were lit by a light trivet. Thanks to Nina Ruth, Jen, and Kristi for sharing their photos of a fun evening through the portal.

If you want to host a fun evening, download the free Sword of Lyric Party Planner at my website.















































Monday, July 27, 2015

Rebuilding



Today I turned to Nehemiah for encouragement. So much of his struggle
resonates with me. Especially chapter 4, verse 10. "The strength of the
laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild
the wall."

Do you ever feel like there's just too much rubble in the way?

Nehemiah started out strong. He rebuilt the wall to half its height, "for
the people worked with all their heart."

But Sanballat and his pals continued to jeer, to mock, and to plot against
Nehemiah and the other people in Jerusalem, making the job that much more
difficult.

I hear Sanballat's echoes almost every day. "What are those feeble Jews
doing? . . . Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to
life from those heaps of rubble--burned as they are?"

Nehemiah spoke a response to the weary builders. "Don't be afraid of them.
Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers,
your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes."

A friend once reminded me that if a theme in one of my books touches
someone's heart and encourages them, my work has value. She helped me
realize that in my writing work I am "fighting for my brothers, sons,
daughters..." I want to offer stories that draw eyes to God. Just as
Nehemiah issued a call to courage by saying "remember the Lord," I want my
stories to reflect and remember the Lord - His love, His grace, His
strength.

Nehemiah doesn't throw his words out flippantly. Sweat ran into his eyes,
blisters grated his hands as he lifted the next brick, and threats
continued to ring in the air. "Those who carried materials did their work
with one hand and held a weapon in the other." Not optimal working
conditions.

Whatever building or repairing God has called us to, the key to getting
through the times of overwhelming discouragement are found in Nehemiah's
clarion words. "Remember the Lord."

Maybe I CAN write one more paragraph today, after all.

Blessings,
Sharon Hinck

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Experience of a Book

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was." - Ernest Hemingway