Monday, July 06, 2015

Sunlight and Storms


Years ago, I took this photo of a storm blowing past in Manasota Key, Florida. A beautiful sunset had begun to color the world. Then clouds banked in like a dark hand wiping across the sky. Soon after, the storm traveled onward and the threat disappeared down the coast.

Sometimes my life holds the contrast of breath-taking sunsets and frightening storm clouds. The wind whips my hair and if I stare into the dark, it seems to absorb the entire known world. Yet if I wait, it blows over and vibrant colors return, and I wonder what had me so frightened.

Our lives take courage. Courage to see both beauty and darkness. Courage to stand on the shore and wait for the clouds to pass.

Lord, help us all today. Give us courage to serve you in our roles as parents, waiters, managers, receptionists, salespeople, artists, singers, ministers, construction workers. Everywhere we walk on this planet we see reminders of the amazing beauty of your creation, as well as the devastating clouds of our fall and rebellion. Thank you that the storms are temporary and your grace and love are eternal. Amen.

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Sunday, July 05, 2015

So Great a Love


"For as high as the heavens are above the earth,    so great is his love for those who fear him." Psalm 103:11 (NIV)

Lord, You beckon us to look up, to look beyond, to embrace the knowledge of how complete and boundless is Your love. May that awareness strengthen us for the less-than-ethereal challenges of our pilgrimage on this earth. Amen.

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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Remarkable Breakfast


"Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' None of the disciples dared ask him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the Lord." John 21:12

The Gospel of John recounts a beautiful reprise of previous fishing experiences with His disciples. After His resurrection, Jesus directs their catch and then serves them breakfast. 

Lord, when You provide my nourishment today, let my heart rejoice in knowing it is You who grants every blessing. Amen.




Friday, July 03, 2015

Bonus Scene 4 - The Restorer's Son

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The Restorer's Son - Bonus Scene

In which Payton and Skyler work to save Morsal Plain

After Chapter 12

Payton:

            The residue of poison tinged the dead crops a sickly yellow. The burning smoke was long gone, but the reek clung to my clothes and seeped into my skin as I worked my way along the rows of what had once been fertile farmland. Anger drove my hoe deep into the ground, and I turned over a strip of damaged plants from the edge of a section that had been spared. Protecting the remaining plants was our first priority. Susan and the guardians had saved perhaps a third of the crop. Even with careful rationing, the months ahead would be brutal.

Across the wide expanse of Morsal Plain, other Braide Wood farmers—men, women, and children—worked to remove the ruined grain. Shock and dismay had given way to determination, fueled by the improbable victory our guardians had won over Hazor. We were alive. We still held our clan. So while there was strength in our bodies, we could work the land and survive.

A few rows away, Skyler straightened and rubbed his back. Strange transtechs tools weighted down his belt, and he held up several plasteen tubes with various liquids. “I suspected an organic toxin. You know there’s good reason to believe the Kahlarean venblades use the venom from a living creature. My guess is rizzid, but of course no one knows. Anyway, we can only guess at what the Hazorites might have extracted. The chemical profile isn’t making sense. If I could figure out what it was made from, I might find a way to neutralize the effects more quickly.” He rubbed his forehead, pushing dirt into the creases of his frown lines. 

I hadn’t heard so many words from Skyler in the past six seasons combined, and I wasn’t sure if they were addressed to me. Should I answer? Offer encouragement or thanks for this rare participation in the problems of the clan? Or would that distract him and send him stomping off?

He poured some red liquid into one of the tubes and it turned yellow. He touched it with a small buzzing tool that looked like a narrow signaler and it turned green. “No, no, no.” He squatted down and scooped up another bit of earth, muttering to himself. 

Best to leave him alone. He was clearly talking to himself. At Tara’s urging, I’d stopped by his solitary cabin each season over the years, only to suffer the sting of his bitter words. Years of solitude had only solidified his resentment for everyone else in the clan. Still, he was here now. That was something. 

I used the hem of my tunic to blot sweat from my face and rubbed my callused hands together before resuming my grip on the hoe. 

Hours later, Skyler was still collecting samples, mumbling to himself, and generally ignoring everyone else. We’d protected a small section of young grain from the poisoned earth nearby. How long would it take for the damaged ground to be safe for new plantings? Would there be years of hunger ahead?

My eyes traveled to the forested hill leading to our clan homes. The soft collar of light above the tree line had deepened. “Time to head home,” I called to the families working nearby. We gathered our tools and hiked toward the woods. The cool scent of resin soothed me, as did turning my back on the ugly, scarred fields. The One had saved our clan. He certainly wouldn’t leave us to starve. If our crops were small for a while, we’d forage and hunt. My shoulders lightened and I picked up my pace. Tara would have a spicy soup waiting tonight. Warmth filled my belly . . . more from the thought of her than the soup. 

She’d spiced my life in countless ways during our years together, and I kept discovering new sides to her. She was a nurturing mother and grandmother, yet she’d taken all the recent dangers in stride. She’d also torn a strip out of Kieran and Tristan when she learned they’d tricked Nolan into escaping back to Hazor. I grinned at the memory of her fury over that incident. 

Now that all the guests had left, our home had been unusually quiet. Talia and Gareth were off visiting friends, and Tristan and Kendra were as preoccupied as newlyweds. My grin deepened. Perhaps Tara and I could take advantage of the extra quiet tonight. 

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

           
           

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Sneak Peek - The Deliverer



"Loss and joy, forgetting and remembering, doubt and certainty. Through it all, the rich music of the One’s love had carried me." -- Linette in The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Utter the Unutterable


"As Christians, we constantly struggle to utter the unutterable. We long to share concepts beyond our human ability to understand--the transcendence of God's holiness, the potency of forgiveness, the depth of God's love for us. Fiction helps us find ways to express those truths of magnitude because it is relatable, symbolic, and engages the emotion--qualities that make it a vital art form." -- Sharon Hinck in A Novel Idea

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sneak Peek - A Dark Moment

A few sentences from the soon-to-be-released new novel, The Deliverer.


"THORNY UNDERBRUSH REACHED out to snarl my ankles. Jagged rocks leered down from forbidding cliffs. In the distance, the strangled roar of a mountain cat issued a warning that I didn’t need. I was already in the jaws of a monster that gnawed my bones and tore at my muscles. The fever was eating me alive." Linette in The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck