Coming to Your House!

coming to your houseThis Sunday is Easter, the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. It is a time of reflection, joy and renewal. It is also a time when many of us gather for a special meal either with family, friends or both. Jesus shared a meal with his friends before he offered up his life. He shared a meal later as well before he was taken up to heaven on the clouds.

In fact, Jesus shared meals with his friends and followers many times through his ministry. His first miracle was performed at a wedding. Twice he fed thousands of people with food that would have been sufficient for one. He ate with religious leaders and social outcasts.

We often thinking of him teaching on the hillsides or in the temple, we think of his miracles and debates with the Pharisees. Jesus like to eat. He liked to hang out with friends and relax. It is a part of him that we often forget.

I have written my own imagined account of the day he met Zacchaeus, the short tax collector. I am offering it free for this Easter weekend. In it, you can meet Jesus just days before his final triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VB0PBR0

 

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‘Catch’ My Newest Story

After a short hiatus in January to recover from the marathon of story writing in November and December, I have a new e-short out on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TEE1HZK

Caught! Is my take on the story of the woman caught in adultery. Found only in the Gospel of John, it is a tale of forgiveness and second chances like only Jesus can provide. The dramatic scene on the steps of the Temple has been told and retold in words and art through the centuries.

I think the words that ring loudest are those of Jesus.

‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Jn 8:7

What an example of love and compassion! Of all those in the Temple watching, Jesus was the only one qualified to judge. He alone was sinless. Yet he chose to forgive and offer a second chance at life.

‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’    ‘Then neither do I condemn you. go and leave your life of sin.’ Jn 8:10,11b

Perhaps we should remember those words before we judge and condemn those around us. Sin is sin, none bigger or smaller than any other. Adultery is no different than lying, or gossip, or envy. Are there any of us who can claim to perfectly keep all 10 Commandments?

No.

So before you pick up a stone to cast or a finger to point, remember that Jesus alone is worthy to judge. He loves all of us enough to die for us. Can you say the same?

Caught!

Caught!

Angel’s Song

Better late than never! Unlike most of my Christmas series, which have been rewritten and revised several times, this story was nothing more than a vague idea in my mind a week ago. We love to sing about the angels, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and The First Noel, among other Christmas favorites. But what is their story, what is going on in that mysterious realm of angels and demons on the most famous day in history?

This story is what I think may have happened.

You will notice that this book cover doesn’t have a figure from an old nativity set. Want to know why? Because I decided that the sappy, serene and aloof look of most nativity angels I have seen simply don’t fit the power of their story. Scriptures say that the angels celebrate in Heaven when one who was lost is redeemed. I think that pales beside their celebration on the day when the redemption becomes possible. The angels  echo the Joy of the Father when Jesus is born. And that is not a sweet and sappy smile, but a powerful burst of jubilation that rocked Heaven to its foundations.

So rather than put a substandard angel on my cover, you will have to just imagine the joy that filled them on that very special day.

 

The Angel’s Song  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R1FBPEM  is available on Amazon for Free through Dec. 21.

Don’t forget to check out:

The Shepherd’s Tale  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PUZ9AD8

The Innkeeper’s Guest  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QOA67OS

 

Christmas Tales

The shepherds watching over their flocks at night.

The Innkeeper with no room.

Angels who watch and celebrate.

Wise men who follow a star to find a king.

A new mother and father with their first child.

A servant of God who sees the promise fulfilled.

These are actors in the greatest production the world has ever seen. Who were they and what did they see and hear on that first Christmas? Each week through the month of December I will be publishing a Christmas Story through Amazon Create Space. Come and See.

shepherd copyThe Shepherd’s Tale http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PUZ9AD8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The InnkeeperThe Innkeeper’s Guest (Free thru Dec 10) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QOA67OS

 

 

 

 

 

Watch for the Angels’ story later this week.

 

Now I See

I love fall. I think it is my favorite time of year. My love affair with Autumn probably got its start because my birthday is in fall. All those years of anticipating parties, presents and cake affected my mind. Now, even when I can’t say I look forward to that proof that I am no longer young, I still love fall. Now it has more to do with clear, crisp days, bright colors and frosty nights.

Sometimes I stand outside in the warm golden sun, and wonder what it would be like to not see the glories of the changing seasons. What if we could not see the faces of our loved ones, the obstacles on a crowded street? Those questions and a hundred more led me to write the story of Bartimaeus.

I drew in a deep, spice-scented breath and took a step, then another, stepping wide to miss the open drain. Hadar’s hand slipped a bit, but he tightened his grip and held on.
The clamor of the market was disorienting. I could barely hear the buzzing echo but I continued to shuffle forward. No longer sheltered by the wall, people brushed against me on all sides. With every step, my heart pounded harder. I held my hands out before me, hoping to encounter anything that might help me find the way to safety. All I could feel was the shifting wall of people. My fingers touched rough material and smooth skin. A strong hand grabbed my own and twisted.
“Watch it, old man.” The deep voice snarled above me. “Are you trying to steal from me? Trying to take my purse?” Another hand gripped my throat. Hard calluses scraped against my skin as a strong hand lifted me off my feet. I gasped for air, clawing at the hand that held me.
“Bartimaeus, where are you? Don’t leave me!” Hadar sounded terrified, but I could not offer comfort. My feet twitched as I dangled. The man holding me aloft dropped me. I collapsed to the cobbled street and lay gagging, trying to force my bruised throat to work.
“You are fortunate that I don’t want blood on my new robe, thief, or you would be dead. If I ever see you again, it will be the last time. Now go.” Something hit me in the ribs, further hampering my efforts to breathe. Small hands helped me to my feet. Hadar sobbed quietly in my ear as we stumbled a few steps. Laughter broke out around us and we fell to the ground again.
“Come on, thief, try to take my purse.” A sandaled foot connected to my hip, agony stabbed down my leg. More blows fell; I couldn’t tell if they were from hands or feet. I huddled on the ground trying to protect my head and belly from the blows. Dimly, I heard the sounds of a wounded animal whimpering. The sounds came from me.
“Stop, he is not a thief. We are trying to get to the gate.” Hadar was still there his voice shrill and scared. I wanted to tell him to run and hide lest they turn on him next. How was the boy to find a safe spot? Was anywhere safe?
“To the gate? A beggar then!”
“Come on, beggar, are you hungry? Here’s some fruit for you,” something wet splatted on my head, the juice running down into my ear. The smell of overripe melon washed over me. More rotting fruit and bits of spoiled meat rained down. Anguish and humiliation like I had never known raged through me.

coverRead the rest of Bartimaeus’ story in Now I See, an e-short sold on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O4CWK3U  This story is free to download until Tues. Oct 7 after that it is still a bargain at $0.99. check out my other e-shorts The Gift of Her Son and In His Right Mind.

The Gift of Her Son

Available for purchase on Amazon

Available for purchase on Amazon

My new e-book is out! The Gift of Her Son tells of the sorrow of a mother beside the deathbed of her son. With his passing, she is alone in the world and loses all hope for the future. On the way to the tomb, the funeral procession is stopped by a man who tells her ‘Don’t Cry’. The grieving mother doesn’t seek his help. She doesn’t know who he is or even that he has seen her. Yet Jesus has compassion for her sorrow and dries the woman’s tears. Jesus gives her the gift of a future and love wrapped in the life of her son.

Here is a sneak peek:

The sun dropped below the horizon and I watched the colors shift to bright gold and scarlet. My husband and I had first come to Nain a few months ago along with our youngest son, Jael. I had loved the view from my new doorway from the first moment. Now I hated it. I had gazed on the scene too many times, seeking solace and finding none.
I turned my face to the darkness behind me. The single lamp cast flickering shadows on the ceiling. They looked like the shadows of demons waiting for death to claim its next victim. I shivered and drew my shawl closer. I shuffled through the familiar darkness to Jael’s bed.
He lay still, no longer thrashing beneath the bedclothes. I lowered my hand gently to caress his face. His skin felt as though it stretched over the dying coals of a fire. He flinched at my touch before pressing his cheek into my hand, seeking its coolness.
I took the cloth from his forehead and dipped it again into the basin of water on the floor beside the bed. I smoothed the cool cloth over the scalding skin of his arms and chest before placing it on his head again. He sighed at the cool touch of water then moaned as fever baked the coolness away.
Desperate to offer him any sort of relief, I searched the house for every scrap of fabric I could find. Armed with a small pile, I covered him with layers of water-soaked cloth. It seemed to help; he sighed and drifted into uneasy slumber. I brought the lamp closer and set it so that I could gaze on him as he slept.
I knelt beside the bed and laid my head on his chest. The cold water chilled my face. I could feel the rapid beat of his heart, like a bird fluttering to escape a net. It was no longer the strong, steady beat that comforted me when his father died. My boy had held me as my life shattered around me. Now I held him as his slipped away. Tears trickled down my face as I crooned to my baby.
“Mamma.” His voice was weak but it sounded like music.
“Jael, oh Jael, I’m here.” I raised my head and looked into his eyes. They were unfocused but they were open and looking towards me. The fever still raged behind them.       “Oh, my boy.” Nothing else would come out.
“Mamma, listen.” His hand felt around weakly until I grabbed it with my own and held it to my wet cheek. “I saw an angel, Mamma. In my dream.” I continued to weep  silently, for angels meant death. I was losing him.
“The angel said to tell you to be brave. It would work out.” He lay for a moment, his breathing shallow. He squeezed my hand weakly. “I’m sorry, Mamma. I love you.”
“Oh my boy, don’t leave me. You are a good son. Stay with me. . .” but he was gone. Not dead, but lost in that dream from which there would be no awakening until his final breath delivered him to Abraham’s bosom.
His breathing faltered, his chest hesitating in its rising. I heard the rattle that foretold death as the air escaped his lips. His chest rose again, slower and slower.
Then it rose no more. Sorrow built inside me, a trapped beast raging to be free. Screams tore from my lips as I howled out my pain and fury. On and on it went taking on a life of its own while I rocked myself back and forth clutching my son’s hand to my breast.

If you would like to read more, it is available for purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MR3IFVE

Please share this post and the story with your friends!

My mom's hands

My mom’s hands

In His Right Mind

content_5019426_DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILI am fascinated by the stories in the Bible.

This wasn’t always the case, I was raised in the church so by the time I was a teenager, I figured I knew it all. Of course, most teens think so, but about the Bible it was surely true. It has been around for a long time and there is only so much new to find in it . . . or so I thought. After high school, I went to a Christian college where everyone was required to take at least one class in both Old and New Testament studies. Since I wanted to graduate, I did, I even learned some things, little details not taught in Elementary Sunday School.

I graduated, again knowing all there was to know, got married and had kids. Wanting to be a good parent, and because I enjoyed it, we went to church every Sunday. One day the pastor began telling a Bible story. Here we go again. I stopped myself from rolling my eyes but under my breath told the story right along with him. Until he changed it.

He didn’t change the core of the story. He added to it. The pastor painted a word picture telling about the heat and dusty roads. He told us what the person likely feeling in the middle of this crisis. It was only a few extra sentences, but suddenly the story was new . . . the people were real. People just like me.

I was hooked. The story the pastor told swirled around in my head for months until finally, in a slow hour at work, I grabbed pen and paper and wrote.

My first short story.

Since that day, almost ten years ago, I have written many stories and the rough draft of a novel. Not all of them are from the Bible, but most of them. Two years ago, I published five of them in The Other Side of Miracles through Inspiring Voices by Guidepost. That was a learning experience and since then I have learned and improved my storytelling craft.

Now I am publishing my stories as ebooks, hoping that others will find a new love for those old stories. My first ebook, In His Right Mind is now for sale on Amazon. A quick read, but an intense one. It is my version of what happened on the day that Jesus healed the man possessed by the demon Legion. I hope to have more ready to publish soon.

http://www.amazon.com/His-Right-Mind-possessed-Encountering-ebook/dp/B00LT5WAJE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405605207&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Other-Side-Miracles-Looking-miracles-ebook/dp/B008F1ZM7W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405605377&sr=8-1