Friday, October 30, 2015

3 Ways to Restore a Sense of Wonder

Restoring Wonder

Day to day life has a way of making us feel jaded. Many of the tasks that demand our effort can feel mundane or frustrating, and far from wondrous.

As I read Psalm 9 this morning, I stopped on the word "wonders" and pondered how to restore the joyous awe that can fuel my soul.

Three things came to mind from recent experiences.

1. Noticing beauty in the world God created. 

The photo is from a recent trip to the north shore. But we can spot amazing nature in our own backyards. A leaf. A cloud. A raindrop. They all coax us to praise God for what He's made.

2. Marveling in other humans that God designed.

We have a new grandson, and each picture of him, each sound of his cry over the phone line fills me with awe. New babies are an easy source of wonder. But so are friends, family, even strangers. The relentless uniqueness. The precious points of connection. The mystery of love. Relationships also call us to praise.

3. Worshiping the One who loves us completely.

Time spent focusing on God can work deep change in our spirits. In a gathering with others to sing and praise. As we read God's love letter to us in Scripture. In our quiet moments of prayer. Soon, like the Psalmist, we find we are once again praising Him with all our hearts.

Lord, open our eyes and our souls to Your wonders! Amen.

Would you like to move toward more wonder at God's interaction in our lives? I invite you to download and explore this free devotional guide that digs into the amazing ways God uses ordinary people on extraordinary faith journeys.


    Sharon Hinck

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Lukyan

After Chapter 14


Wade and Jake left my cottage in such a hurry they didn’t slide the door closed. Bracing myself against my chair arms, I eased to my feet. Each of my bones grumbled a reminder of my age as they took my weight. I was too old for all this chaos and danger.

I limped to the doorway and looked out at the trees. “Holy One, is it time for me to come home yet?” I whispered. “I long to serve where you need me, but the times are growing so dark, and my strength is growing frail. I’m ready to join You now. Look into my heart. It’s breaking with the knowledge that Your people are being deceived.”

 I slid the door, shutting out the view of Braide Wood, wishing I could shut out the vivid picture of the clans trapped in confusion and doubt. Why would the One have allowed Cameron to create false Verses? How could He expect the people to know whom to follow? Had my counsel to Jake helped? I rejoiced in the young man’s passion to protect the true Records, but could such an untried youth stand against so many powerful enemies?

 You were an untried youth once, too.

The gentle reminder tugged a smile from my lips. “You’re right, Blessed One. Jake doesn’t walk alone, and neither do I. Will you join me for my meal?”

I took a small bread loaf from the basket on my table. Tara had brought them over yesterday. Always thinking of others, even when supplies were scarce. Indulging in a small luxury, I set the loaf on a heat trivet. Tara’s bread was already delicious, but warming it filled my home with a yeasty, nutty scent. Picking it up, I tore the loaf in half and lifted the pieces.

 “Creator of this fragile flesh,
Sustainer of my life’s brief length,
Provider of all humble needs,
I thank you for this gift of strength.”

The childhood prayer comforted me. Some songkeepers were sure that the longer we lived, the more we would understand the Verses, grow in character, and follow the One with faithfulness and purity.
I took a small bite and chewed slowly. A lovely theory. My love for the One did grow with years of knowing Him. But my failings became even more obvious to me, more frustrating, more ingrained. And the more glimpses I had of the One’s work, the more I longed to see Him face to face, away from the shroud of this troubled world. My old teacher often told me that straining to see around the next bend in the road would cause me to stumble over the stones on my current path.

Carrying my bread and a mug of lukewarm clavo, I settled into my chair. Each songkeeper felt a unique calling to various aspects of the Verses. Many loved teaching, studying, reviewing, and analyzing the meaning of the genealogies and the parts of the Records that looked to the past. Others drew joy from the practical counsel and rules for serving the One and others in each present day. But I’d always been most intrigued with the Verses that looked to the future. The Deliverer who would come.

As a young songkeeper, I asked the One each day when that promise would be fulfilled. As a grown man, seeing ever growing threats against our clans, I asked again, often with earnest tears. In recent seasons as danger piled upon danger, I continued to ask. Each time, I heard a quiet voice answer, “Soon.”

More of a habit than a new conversation, I asked again. “Creator of our land, Protector of our people, how much worse must we face before You come as our Deliverer? Isn’t it time?”

Before you draw your last breath, Child. You will see the Deliverer.

The morsel of bread caught in my throat and I coughed so hard, I doubled over. Fumbling for my mug, I gulped some liquid, wiped the tears from my eyes. Had I heard correctly? I knew the only sensible response to the One’s words was, “Let it be so.”

But this answer was so unexpected, so specific. The skin rose on the back of my neck. My limbs trembled, as they sometimes had when the mist lowered on worshippers in the Lyric tower. “What? When? How can that be? Have you noticed how old I am? Do you mean I’ll see a vision of Him? You can’t mean . . .”
My objections finally stammered to a halt. Oh, the foolish babbling that overcomes us when we are in the presence of all holiness and wisdom and love. I eased from my chair to my knees and lifted my arms as far as my stiff shoulders would allow. Wonder and gratitude stole my voice. But my heart exploded in song, a song of two words, over and over in ever rising pitch. “Thank you.”

Read more in The Restorer's Journey by Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

His Voice

Lord, You speak to us in whispers and thunders, through the might and beauty of nature, and the quiet compassion of a friend. Help us to hear You today. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The View From Here

On a recent hike, my stamina was exhausted and I lay flat on the trail to rest. When I recovered enough to open my eyes, I was astounded by the view of golden birch leaves against a clear autumn sky.

There are times when problems flatten us and knock the stuffing from us. But even when we're prone, weak, and empty, God can coax us to look up. He can help us discover beauty from the midst of our pain. Those glimpses of beauty encourage our souls as they remind us of His power and love.

How is your view today?

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Loud Clashing Symbols

Loud Clashing Symbols

One Sunday we sang the hymn, "Earth and All Stars."

The second verse proclaims - "Trumpet and pipes! Loud clashing cymbals! Sing to the Lord a new song!"

But the person who typed the lyrics for the screen projector wrote, "Loud clashing symbols."

I got the giggles. I poked my poor hubby and whispered, "It's like a comment from one of my critique buddies telling me I'm mixing metaphors. Clashing symbols. Get it?"

I was giggling all day. Maybe it's just warped writer humor, but I love the image of my writing being full of loud symbols that offer the Lord a new song.

Do you ever find delight in a typo?

Sharon Hinck

Monday, September 21, 2015


When each day dawns with a new mountain to climb, it helps to remember that we are loved, that we never travel alone, and that our strength comes from the Savior who has conquered every evil.

What is your daunting challenge today?

Dear Lord, we need You. Help us to more than conquer each hardship today because of Your love and mighty presence in us. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Wade

After Chapter 11


The path from Braide Wood to the transport was rock-strewn and hard under my feet. Usually the sounds of small creatures created happy whispers throughout the woods. Today the silence was as cold as angry lips pressed together. Even the trees seemed to droop. So much had changed since Cameron became king.

I reached a familiar bend in the trail and rubbed the scars on my arm. Each time I strode past this place, I remembered the night the bear attacked our small group. A grin broke through my gloom. Now that was an enemy I knew how to fight.

Give me a bear over Council politics any day. I could carry a heavy load, or swing a sword long after everyone else tired. But the planning, the strategies, the heavy choices I’d seen Tristan have to make…those weren’t for me. These days, strength, courage, and loyalty were no longer enough. I wanted to help Jake, but was this the best way to do it? Would he be safe back at camp with the group of suspicious guardians? I wanted to serve the clans, but was it right to keep our men together secretly when the king had ordered the guardians disbanded? The questions baffled me.

I hitched up my sword belt and clambered over a fallen tree branch in the path. Sorting out the answers was better left to smarter men. Yet here I was, on my way to skulk around the city of Lyric.

Again. When Cameron’s men grabbed Susan from Braide Wood that first season, Tristan sent me to protect her. I spent days prowling the back alleys of Lyric, asking questions in a way that I’d hoped was subtle, and poking around dark underground rooms.

When I finally caught up to Susan, I accidentally walloped Markkel over the head. That’s what comes of sending a simple guardian to deal with complicated plots. He’d eventually warmed up to me. Even asked me to be his house protector. The weight of my pack lightened. I lengthened my stride. Markkel’s family needed my protection. That much was clear.

When I reached the transport stop, I gazed up and down the tarred road. With so many other changes in our clans, I couldn’t assume anything. If they were no longer running, I’d have a hike of many days to reach Lyric. I paced the paved road, listening to the glum silence while I waited.

Thankfully, the midday transport glided up before the afternoon rains started. It was empty. Rendor families no longer traveled past Braide Wood on their way to the other clans. The emptiness was an eerie reminder that none of us were sure what had happened to all those families. Cameron said they were happily sharing their land with the Kahlareans. Even I wasn’t gullible enough to believe that.

I sank onto a lonely bench. Perhaps I’d find Susan rallying councilmembers as she did before the battle of Morsal Plains. Maybe she’d be able to convince the king to reinstate the guardians. If anyone could, it would be her. But our people were angry and confused. What if they blamed her for leaving? I rested my hand on my sword hilt. My head ached. I was thinking too much again.

Linette would remind me that problems were often beyond our intellect to solve, and that we were meant to rely on the One’s wisdom instead. I scratched my head. But would she tell me it was right to rescue a former Restorer from our current king? They were both appointed by the One, weren’t they?
I whistled an off key tune as wheels hummed a steady rhythm, and trees and steep ridges gave way to gentler hills. Gradually a melody formed, and the words spun free from the clutter and confusion in my brain.

Awesome in majesty, perfect in power. 

I leaned back against the bench. Of course. Cameron might be king, but even a king could make mistakes. The One was the only true king. This situation that was so confusing wasn’t too complex for Him.

“Show me my next step,” I whispered. “And protect the men while I’m away. Oh, and Jake. I have a hunch he’s going to need You, too.”

You can read the rest of the story in The Restorer's Journey (Book 3 of the Sword of Lyric Series)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Dear Lord, on days when our bodies, minds, or hearts are weary, we rejoice in the gift of Your presence. You are the Water of Life, and today we invite You to refresh us. Turn our souls to You, so we are open to receive Your grace. Amen.

Sharon Hinck

Monday, September 14, 2015

One Minute of Inspiration

For Christian writers and readers who love speculative fiction, here is a one minute video from my publisher at Enclave to inspire and encourage you. You might recognize a cover or two. ;-)

Sharon Hinck

Friday, September 11, 2015

Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Mark


After chapter 6


Dust floated uncaring from the rafters. I reached my arm toward the empty space where my son had stood seconds before. Gone. 

My heart pounded, sending a jarring pulse against my broken ribs. I grabbed the nearest portal stone, shifted its position, and realigned it with the others. No subtle vibration, no tingling tug of the portal, no hint of life. I picked up the others. The stones were dead weight in my hands.

I’d been ready to die in the effort to reach Susan—but I hadn’t been ready for this. Shut out, facing horrible emptiness. And now Jake was gone, too.

“No!” The cry tore open my cut lip and I tasted blood. I crumpled to the plywood floor. Bones grated. Bruises throbbed. But the pain was nothing compared to the raw horror in my soul.

For weeks I’d contemplated destroying the portal stones, and then worked on ways to alter or control them. Anything to keep Cameron and Medea from returning to harm the clans. Even after Cameron and Medea invaded our house, I thought by purposely misaligning the stones I could hinder them. After they surprised me and dragged Susan with them, Jake had to snap me out of my shock. We formed another new plan. And now I faced another disaster.

Jake was gone, too. Lost, unreachable. In danger. Like Susan.

Susan’s journal rested on the chair we’d set up for her quiet refuge. It seemed years ago that she’d smiled at me, thanking me again and again for building this space, for finding some tangible way to help her with her inner pain. I inched toward it. My Council tunic caught on a nail head, and I tugged it free. I’d love to tear the entire thing apart, along with all the choices that had led to this moment. Instead I picked up her journal and hugged it against my chest. “Lord, bring her back to me.” The longing was so deep, I could only whisper the words.

I gently set the journal back on her chair. Time to find a solution.

First, I tried every improbable trick I could think of to activate the portal. Placing the old plastic sword between the stones produced no reaction. Tossing a ball across the space triggered nothing. Stepping in and out of the space and re-positioning the portal stones again and again did nothing.
Next, I brought the stones down to my basement workbench and pulled out my tools. I tinkered for hours, looking for clues in the hidden mechanisms that could bring them back to life. My worries swung between Susan and Jake. At least when Jake went through the portal, the stones weren’t misaligned. And he wasn’t in the company of Cameron and Medea. What was Susan going through?

Hours later, I rubbed my eyes, as my tools and the workbench slipped in and out of focus. My whole body was one throbbing ache, and now I was swaying on my feet from exhaustion.

I took the stones and a sleeping bag back up to the attic. In the past, our sojourns through the portal had taken little time in this world. Susan and Jake could return at any moment. Or perhaps they’d be able to send a message somehow. Until they did, I needed to stay close. I unrolled the sleeping bag and curled up, ears straining for any hopeful sound. If I couldn’t sleep beside my wife, at least I’d sleep beside this fragile link that I had to her.

As the darkness settled around me, my desperate hope provided cold comfort.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Deliverer - Giveaway on Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

The Deliverer

by Sharon Hinck

Giveaway ends September 29, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A Day of Encouragement

I got to hold an author copy of Mornings with Jesus 2016 today. So lovely to see the devotions I contributed, nestled among the wonderful insights and inspiration of other authors.

And as if that wasn't enough blessing, I received a beautiful thank you card from a friend who was blessed by my new book, The Deliverer. In part, she wrote, "I laughed! I cried! I grew closer to the One!" Her words were just what I needed today.

Has God sent a special treat your way lately? Post a comment! I'd love to rejoice with you.


Mighty Fortress

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Sabbath Prayer

Today I read John 5, where Jesus was criticized for healing on the Sabbath. I take great comfort in knowing that He is always available, always at work, always willing to hear our prayers.

Sharon Hinck

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Restorer's Journey - Bonus Scene - Medea

After Chapter 2


Shelves crawled up the walls of the small shop, full of strange items I didn’t recognize and didn’t care to learn about. Cameron scowled at the lumpy man behind the counter, so I stepped closer. He obviously needed my help—as he had each moment in this strange place. Delicious warmth rose in my chest. Having this powerful man dependent on me was intoxicating.

Of course, he was just using me. Again. But at least Cameron was entertaining. Few people had such wonderful threads of darkness to explore. Most were dull vacant husks of basic desires and simple fears. Like the oafish shopkeeper who kept shaking his head.

“Sir, you need to show me your permit to carry. And then you’ll have a waiting—”

“We don’t want to wait.” My words poured like thick liquid, rich as lehken blood. The man’s eyes glazed. His thoughts froze, and I slipped through them and around them. There it was. Greed. Child’s play. So easy to work with. “Think of all the sales you might lose if you don’t help this important man. You’ll do anything to give him what he needs.”

 Not even a flicker of resistance.

 He didn’t speak, but lumbered to one of his crowded racks and pulled out the long, clumsy tool that Cameron was so obsessed with possessing today. Cameron stuffed it into his sack, along with the small heavy boxes that the shopkeeper pulled from behind his counter. Strange symbols traced across the box, the same strange symbols littering everything in this cluttered world. Unimportant.

We left the shop and the light assaulted us again. Searing. Brilliant. A thousand lightwalls closing in on us.

Cameron steered me down the street toward the place we’d taken lodging. “I wish you could teach me how to do that,” he said.

“So do I.”

Then I wouldn’t need to be in this hateful place. As we walked along the street, noises welled together. Chaotic fragments of music. The clamor of odd-colored transports. The constant dull buzz of machines. Apparently these people couldn’t produce heat, light, or movement without all this noise. My head throbbed. I stopped, squeezing my eyes shut.

 Cameron shifted his bag over his other shoulder and took my arm. “Is it worse? Did that last encounter drain you?”

I wafted a hand through the air. “Don’t insult me. It’s the light. And the speed.” Everyone rushing. Sounds jabbing at my brain.

He drew me off the busy street and into a city park. Only a few trees and the prickly, violently-green coating over the soil and a few stone benches. Nothing like the nurturing beauty of Rhus. Not even as peaceful as the tiny parks in Lyric. But a place to catch my breath.

A hideous creature slithered up a tree trunk, then back down, in haphazard patterns. Cameron said the animals—squirrels?—were harmless, but their faces held menace, and they moved too much like rizzids. I tensed whenever I spotted one, expecting it to sink razor-sharp teeth into me, injecting its poison.

I grabbed Cameron’s arm. “This whole place is poisoning me. Take me back. Now.”

Cameron led me to a bench in the shade. “Rest first. Then we’ll talk.”

I leaned forward, running my hands over the soft fabric of the dress we’d taken from one of the many shops we’d explored in the past weeks… or was it years? “How long have we been here? Can we sit here until the rains? I want to feel the rain.”

His sigh was heavy as he took my hand. “They don’t have rain every day. Remember?”

Why bother remembering insignificant things like weather? The longer we lingered in this horrible place, the more my thoughts scampered away to hide or spun in dizzying circles. Nicco had warned me. At least I thought he had. Unless my memories were jumbled again. Nicco never understood how valuable my alliance with Cameron would be for Rhus. Now I couldn’t remember why, either. My head hurt. “You have enough weapons. It’s time to go back.”

 “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that.”

Not another change in plans. I was slipping. Another reminder I needed to get home to Rhus. He’d never been able to hide his thoughts from me before. But I’d been so distracted, coping with the irritations of this place, I’d missed the subtle shifts in his mood, his energy, his focus. I met his eyes, ready to intrude, to bend his will, to let him know exactly what I required of him.

He quickly held up his hands. “Wait. Think about it. We’ve already proven we can control the clans. Imagine what we could do here.”

I sprang from the bench. “And our arrangement? If you aren’t back in the Council leading the clans, how will you send Rhus what we agreed?”

“I’ve given my best years to those ignorant, backward people. They refuse every attempt at progress. Why don’t we leave it all behind and start fresh. Here. Together.”

A shrill laugh broke from my throat. “So you can become a king over this ugly world and I—” No. He couldn’t know. He knew I suffered when away from Rhus too long. But I couldn’t allow him the power of knowing the rest.

I stepped back, and the horrible light from the sky found me, searing me with its unnatural vibrancy. I clutched my temples, stumbling forward to the cool stone bench again. “It’s a fine idea,” I choked out. “You’re meant for bigger things.”

His chest lifted and he leaned back, surveying the park and streets beyond as if he already owned them. “Exactly. This is only the beginning.” He patted the lumpy bag at his feet.

“You deserve to lead people who will respect you. Fear you.” Unlike my conversation with the shopkeeper, this time my words were as soft as a caress. Direct assault rarely worked with Cameron. Instead I gave a barely perceptible nudge. Ultimately he would change direction. He would never know I had influenced him. I leaned against him and smiled sweetly. “But first, you deserve your revenge on Markkel and Susan for all the trouble they caused you.”

I watched the new suggestion rush through the tangled branches of his soul, felt it soak into the deepest roots of hatred. Recognition lit his face. “Of course. Now that I have weapons, we should go back to their home.”

“Today? So soon?” I widened my eyes. “That’s a beautiful idea.”

By the time we reached their home, he would decide his original plan was too important to abandon. I’d get back to Rhus, and Cameron would tear his people apart clan by clan to supply what we needed.

(The rest of the story is found in The Restorer's Journey - Book 3 of the Sword of Lyric series)

Friday, September 04, 2015

Encouragement for Parents

Feeling the challenges of parenting today? Treat yourself to a novel about the misadventures of supermom Becky Miller. She's the kind of friend who will share a few giggles, and also inspire.

The e-book is only $3.99 now on Kindle or Nook.

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Door

As a fan of fantastical stories, I've read many that involve portals, passages, or secret entries between worlds. It's not surprising that our imagination resonates with that longing to explore--to go from here to there. God has planted that desire in us for the "someplace new" where we belong. Jesus Himself is the Door.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Sharpening Pencils

Fall is a time that makes me want to sharpen pencils. Perhaps it's the
ingrained rhythm of back-to-school, but each September I'm driven by a
strange compulsion to clean closets, organize my desk, and buy new
office supplies.

Writers often develop rituals of preparing to write. In all honesty,
sometimes we're just avoiding the hard, hard work of putting words to
paper. So we make sure the house is tidy, throw in a load of laundry,
defrost the freezer, sort coupons, clean out computer files, buy a new
day-planner, and sharpen those pencils.

There's a deep-seated belief that if we can get our environment
perfect, the words will flow. Truthfully, we're stalling.

Today I read Romans 5:6, "You see, at just the right time, when we
were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."

It made me realize I take the same approach to my relationship with
God. I want to get my act together. Get organized and tidy before I
spend time with Him. The truth is, I'm a sinful human mess in my very
nature--forgiven, holy and precious only because of Christ's great
love. He didn't wait for me to get organized and sharpen my pencils.
He came into my life when my soul's laundry was dirty and my heart's
desk was piled high with unfinished projects.

Since Christ came into my messy life, I want to follow His example. I
want to serve a messy world. I want to grab a few minutes to write the
books He's called me to write, even when the circumstances aren't
ideal. Sure, I'd rather have hours of interrupted time at a tidy desk
with an alert mind and stacks of sharp pencils lined up at hand. But
if I have twenty minutes with a muddy brain and that's all I
have--I'll use it to give the best I can.

Have you been waiting for circumstances to line up and conditions to
be perfect to serve God? I'm all for tidying and organizing life (and
desks) when we can. But sometimes life just won't clean up for us. So
let's learn to serve God in the midst of the mess, too.

Sharon Hinck

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

The Deliverer

by Sharon Hinck

Giveaway ends September 29, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wings of the Dawn

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139:9-10 (NIV)

Lord, when I feel lost, forgotten, or invisible, remind me that You know where I am, that you remember me in your love, and that You see every struggle in my heart. Thank You for holding me today. Amen.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

To Utter the Unutterable

On days when I ask myself (again) why I write novels, I try to remember this:

"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--unique qualities that make it a vital art form."

    ---Sharon Hinck in A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ode to my Laptop

My laptop is in the shop, and I miss it. So I wrote a little free verse about it.
(With apologies to William Carols William's "Red Wheelbarrow" )

so much depends

a silver

sticky with

beside a blank

    ---Sharon Hinck

Friday, August 21, 2015


Two winners!

Thanks to everyone who participated in my recent contest by sharing posts about my new book, The Deliverer. Since I appreciate your efforts so much, I decided to give away TWO prizes instead of one. Using a random number generator, one name was chosen from my blog post comments, and one from my Facebook contest. Congratulations Anjanette and Elizabeth! I'll be contacting you to get your address and will mail you your copy of Renovating Becky Miller.

If you entered and didn't win this time, take heart! Next week I'll be starting a super deluxe giveaway on Goodreads, so be sure to look for that one.

Sharon Hinck

Lifting my Hands

When I think of dear friends, I'm often moved to send them a greeting card to let them know I'm thinking of them. Today I decided to create a card to send to my heavenly Father.

Feel free to share it, if you like.

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

My Only Hope

"And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you." Psalm 39:7 (NLT)

Do you ever feel hopeless? Yesterday I was putting excited expectation in something that could effect positive and needed change in my life, but I soon saw the answers wouldn't come--at least not from political committees, medical advances, or my own efforts. I felt a wave of hopelessness. 

As I prayed, God reminded me of His love, and the many ways He has enacted that love in my life. I have had other times when I've lost hope in people, organizations, my abilities. They can all let us down. But God's relentless love never stops. I can have faith in what His love is doing behind the my life and in the world.

Sometimes it's good to lose hope, when our hope is misplaced. 

Lord, today we look to You. We lay before You every hurt, every need, every plea. Our hope is in You. Amen.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Daily Bread

Lord, you taught us to pray for daily bread, and later you said you ARE the Bread of Life.
Help me hunger to know You. Nourish my soul. Amen.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Preparing for the Work of the Day

Dear Lord,

I stop. I hold still. I wait for your Word to me. I'm here in the vineyard, ready for another day. What would you like me to do today? 

Thank you for your love that is as constant as the air I breathe. Thank you for your amazing creativity at bringing glory from ashes . . . especially the ashes of my failures. 

Help me walk with a light tread today, listening for your change of course at any time. Whether you ask me to prune, to weed, or to harvest. Whether you call me to a crowded row of laborers or to a solitary corner of the vineyard. 

I am here to serve you with joy in my heart . . . and gratitude for the gift of another day of life. Amen.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Caught up by Grace

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it." --Ephesians 4:7 (NIV)

Lord, thank you for swooping us into the delight of another day of life in You. Amen.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A New Contest

The launch of The Deliverer is off to a rollicking good start, so it's time for another contest. Everyone who shares this post  will be entered into a drawing for a free autographed paperback copy of "Renovating Becky Miller" (a lighthearted novel about the perils of home renovation and over ambition). You can use the buttons below this blog post, then please comment here to tell me where you shared it.

Reviews for The Deliverer:

"Best book in the series." - Kat, Amazon reviewer

"Sharon Hinck has crafted a compelling plot, an entrancing setting, and characters that are so realistic I felt like I was welcoming long lost friends." - Virginia, Amazon reviewer

"There were moments in this story where I was certain God was speaking to me and my situation." - Gina, Amazon reviewer

More About the The Deliverer:
A lost songkeeper must lead her people to a long awaited Deliverer

Eager to serve the One, a young songkeeper travels to the dark and foreign nation of Hazor, but her confusing, rough-edged companion has lost his Restorer gifts. As danger rises against them both, she loses her freedom, her memories, and her hope. Now even the very music of her soul is threatened.

In our world, Susan Mitchell no longer feels at home in the carpool lane. Burdened by the unhealed scars from her trips through the portal, she fights to suppress her worry about her son, who remains out of contact in Lyric. But when a mysterious message hints Jake is in danger, she and her husband are swept away—to the place they least expect.

Clan rebellions. Lost Restorers. Has the One turned away, or will the face of the Deliverer bring light to the darkness? 

New to the series? Grab book one, The Restorer, for free on Kindle!

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Deliverer - a tidbit from the new novel

"Restrained Linette, the faithful songkeeper. I knew all the right words, but my spirit was a clashing chord, all mangled sounds and broken strings ... But Lukyan had taught me long ago that the One could take the smallest melody and build a strong chorus around it, if the music were true. The smallest life could produce magnificent worship when it was placed in His hands." -- Linette in The Deliverer by Sharon Hinck

Monday, August 10, 2015

Safe Harbor

William Shedd said, "A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."

Life isn't safe. Even those of us who prefer to drop anchor in peaceful ports can still be capsized by sudden storms. That's an uncomfortable realization. We'd rather believe that we have control. That if we eat a healthy diet we'll never get sick, if we have an alarm system our house won't be robbed, if we make smart financial choices we'll never be poor. That our storm-tracking radar will somehow protect us from wind and rain, and that the plans we make for ourselves will unfold per our schedule. Yet there are times that despite our efforts, the illusion of safety fractures.

A bleak and scary thought if our time on planet Earth were our only lot.

But there is a much bigger picture.

Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)

Our time on this planet is only a small piece of our destiny. While we're here, there will be trouble - even sudden, inexplicable tragedy. We grieve. We mourn. We hurt. We realize that life isn't safe. We hold and comfort each other.

And all the while we look to the horizon. Because our overcoming Jesus isn't done with the story. One day we'll be with Him. One day we won't have to battle cancer, crime, and craziness, fires, floods and storms. One day we'll sail into our home port and He'll joyfully welcome us to the safety of His presence.

Even today, I nestle into the truth that while storms brew, my soul is safe in His care. "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Living Water

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 (NIV)

Lord, I'm too often thirsty for things that leave me empty. Give us all Your living water. Refresh us so we can serve others with joy. Amen.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Bonus Scene 9 - The Restorer's Son

The Restorer's Son - Bonus Scene

In which Susan grapples with fear.

After Chapter 33


The backdoor creaked as I slipped outside, and I hoped it wouldn’t disturb Mark or Jake. We’d cleaned up the kitchen, had our pizza, and settled down for the night. But despite my exhaustion, I’d lain awake listening to Mark’s soft snores for hours. Finally my restlessness drove me to our backyard.

Overhead the moon slipped in and out of clouds, and I settled on the porch steps to study the sky. The constant gray haze over the clans had felt like a brewing storm that never dissipated. And the total black emptiness of their nights was frightening. I was relieved beyond words to be back in my world of moonlight shadows against the trees and a midnight sky rich with stars.

I sighed. Even though I could glimpse eternity and see God’s presence in the stars, His purposes still felt as cloudy as the hazy atmosphere over the clans.

Jake’s hand had healed. Instantly. Completely. What did that mean? Was he the next Restorer?

I sat up and hugged my knees, my breathing turning ragged.

Not my son. Anything but that, Lord. I’ll do extra shifts at the soup kitchen. Be nicer to the annoying chairman of the PTA. Memorize the whole New Testament. There are a million ways I can show my love for you. 

But don’t ask me to watch my son face danger. I’ve done that before, remember?

Over the swish of a distant car and summer crickets in the tall grass, the sounds of the pediatric cancer wing echoed in my mind: chirping monitors, murmuring voices, the silent tears of parents that held more volume than a scream. Jake had recovered, but I’d never forget the terror of those months and the fear that squeezed the breath from my lungs.

The same breathless dread hit me in Lyric when Jake had been under Rhusican thrall, a cold and contemptuous stranger. Each time he stared past me, each time a sneer colored his clipped words, each time he turned away, my heart contracted more tightly until I feared it would be crushed into dust.

But we’d made it home. The Jake we knew and loved had returned. I wanted to savor answered prayer, rescue, and normalcy. I wanted barbeques and picnics, family hikes at the nature center.

What if Jake went back to Lyric? What if he left forever? I pressed my forehead against my knees, the ache curling my spine until I thought I’d implode. I didn’t want to confront what the future might hold for Jake. 

Because it wasn’t just Jake. Each of my children would one day set out to fulfill their own purposes—find their own way to serve God. I’d known that before they were born. Yet I hadn’t let that knowledge intrude. Not while I held their soft powder-scented infant bodies. Not while I pushed them on the swings and elicited joyous shrieks. Not while I held my breath in the back row wondering if they’d remember their lines in the school play. 

When they lifted chocolate smeared faces for sticky kisses, when they lisped Sunday school songs, when they entrusted me with wounds from friends, or whispered their fears, or disappointments . . . somehow I convinced myself that I would always be their best ally, that even as adults they’d turn to me. My vision of the future was fuzzy, but for some inexplicable reason, when I pictured that vague era of grown children, I liked to assume they’d all find homes just down the block.

“Honey?” Mark called softly through the screen door. 

“Out here.”

He came outside and settled beside me. “What are you doing?”

I didn’t realize the night air held a cold edge until his presence warmed me. “Mark, what if Jake has to go back through the portal? What if we’re separated from him forever? And even if that never happens, what if the kids all grow up and grow away and we never see them? What if—”

“Whoa. Your imagination is off and running, isn’t it?” He wrapped an arm around me.

My body softened against him slightly, but then I pulled up. “How can you be so calm? We have to figure out what it means.”

“Why? It won’t change what we need to do for our family.”

He already had a plan? “All right. Lay it on me. What should we do?”

He turned and held my shoulders, thumbs rubbing gentle circles against my tight muscles. “The same as always. We love them. Protect them the best we can. Pray for them.”

“But . . . ” It wasn’t enough. Surely he could see that. I needed answers, strategies, promises of how the story of each child would turn out. Then again, I had longed for those sorts of assurances as we floundered our way through Lyric and Braide Wood and Hazor and back again. In the midst of uncertainties, the One had guided our steps, provided unexpected allies, strengthened us when our hearts ached with fear. I sagged and let my head drop forward to rest against Mark’s chest. Love, protect, pray. He was right.

“And trust,” I whispered. “Trust that God’s love is big enough for the next part of the story.”

“That’s my girl.” His words were a deep approving rumble, and beyond them I heard an echo of an even deeper and stronger voice. Mark helped me to my feet.

I opened the door. “Let’s get to bed. We need our rest. We have a lot of loving and praying to do tomorrow.”


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

Sharon Hinck


Thursday, August 06, 2015

Advent Devotional Booklet

Last year, I was invited by Creative Communications for the Parish publishers to write daily prayers for the Advent season. Our Lord Emmanuel: Daily Prayers for Advent  booklets are now available to order. Congregations and small groups can order bundles, or you can order one for your Advent quiet times this fall.

Sharon Hinck

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


"I wait for the Lord
    more than watchmen wait for the morning,
    more than watchmen wait for the morning." Psalm 130:6

When suffering beats us down, we can still watch and wait, eager to catch the first glimpse of God's mighty work in our situation.

Sharon Hinck

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


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.


Monday, August 03, 2015

99 Cent Offer!
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.


“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


The Restorer's Son Bonus Scene

In which Linette sees Kieran's encounter with the One

After Chapter 28


            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


Sharon Hinck