Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Need a good summer read? "Rooms" is it!

Intriguing, creative, unique, mysterious, fantastic, "The Shack" meets "Back to the Future". These are a few of the ideas that roamed through my head while reading the thoroughly entertaining novel “Rooms” by James L. Rubart.

A cryptic letter arrives giving Micah Taylor a beach-front mansion from a relative he never knew. Micah Taylor is the man every woman wants and every man would like to be. Successful, good-looking, and smart enough to build a million dollar business and still remain a nice guy. As bright as Micah’s future looks, he’s not a man without a past and in getting to where he is today, he may’ve lost some of the best parts of himself.

Even though the house located in the place of the greatest tragedy of his life, Micah decides to check it out. What he gets is way more than what he sees. A house whose footprint changes daily, sometimes hourly? As far as real estate goes, this house is a dream built exactly to his tastes. Or maybe it’s a nightmare because with each new room Micah finds a new set of questions buzzing in his mind, disturbing his sleep, questioning his existence.

Along the way Micah meets his new BFF and a lovely straight-shooting young lady who seems to good to be true at times. But the one thing they all have in common is their search for the Pearl of great price.

“Rooms” is an unusual book. It is a fantasy with a big heart, a journey with twists and turns, missteps and surprises. Yet through it all is an undeniable feeling of God’s love, protection and care for His children. I love that! In the end I found myself asking the same questions as Micah, seeking the same truth and freedom and knowing it is worth the trip. It's a book I'll remember for a long, long time and I like that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daily Devotions Inspired by 90 Minutes in Heaven

I depart from my year-long review of Christian fiction today to share a great devotional book I've just finished reading. It turned out to be one of those books that just speaks to your heart exactly what you need to hear each day, and of course I had to share that!

Don Piper is man who lives with pain. But he doesn’t wallow in it. In 1989, he was pronounced dead by EMTs for 90 minutes in a car accident. After returning to life, he spent months in the hospital recovering from his injuries and still today lives with the resulting pain from the accident.

I also live with pain. Due to arthritis, physical pain is a given in my daily life. I’m also terribly sensitive to the normal big-time pain killers (such as Vicodin) so I pretty much refuse to take them.

I’ve often asked God about the “why” of pain, of being unable to walk even a mile a day I used to, the ability to work out at the gym. Then I picked up “Daily Devotions Inspired by 90 Minutes in Heaven” by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey.

Reading the devotions in this book has renewed my faith in God’s providence and reminded me that I’m not alone in my suffering. Just knowing there are other believers fighting the same battles, trusting and persevering and looking forward to heaven for our complete healing is a fantastic blessing and comfort.

Don and Cec write for people not saints. The devotions are full of personal stories; lessons learned the hard way and inspiring scriptures on every page. I especially loved the prayers at the end of each devotion. These moments with God expressed the desire of my heart beautifully.

If you are a person who sometimes wonders about what God is doing in your life, if you’re going a rough patch or even if you’re just wondering about heaven and what God has in store, this would be a wonderful 90 day journey for you to take. The end will leave you comforted, peaceful and closer to heaven and to the Lord.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Don't forget to say "Thank you"

Remember the first thing out of your mom's mouth after opening your presents on Christmas morning? For most of us it was "Tell Uncle Clyde, Grandma, Daddy thank you!" Sometimes we did it joyfully, sometimes with resignation, but saying thanks was the expected reaction after viewing your Christmas loot.

Then there were the "thank you" notes to write for all those great presents that came from family and friends far away. I had a rule for my kids. After Christmas day, no playing with/using the new gift until the "thank you" note was written. It was painful, but my kids learned that a simple "thank you" meant a lot to the person who "gifted" them making the giver feel appreciated and loved. In fact, one of my kids used her stellar ability to pen "thank you" notes in a job for a Hollywood TV show and later at a major university.
Telling people you appreciate them--it's a good thing, as Martha Stewart used to remind us.

Many of the readers of this blog are familiar with their co-author Cecil Murphey. His generosity with his time, talent and resources have touched the lives of many readers and writers, both professionally and personally.

Has Cecil Murphey been a source of help to you in your writing journey? Maybe he encouraged you along the way, provided a scholarship to a writing conference or even used your story in a compilation book.

Perhaps, like me, you're a reader and you've found just what you needed to hear one day while reading a book Cecil wrote or co-wrote. A word of truth encouraging you to keep looking up, God is watching and loving and understanding you just where you are. And maybe it's time to say "Thank You".

June is "Cecil Murphey Appreciation Month". I once read a quote once that said it's not the things we do that we regret the most, but the things we leave undone, the words we leave unsaid. If Cec has touched your life, this would be a great month to tell him so.
Why not take a moment drop Cec a note via his web site or through his assistant,Twila Belk, and tell him what his ministry has meant you? It's a chance to give back a bit of the blessing you've receieved.

Cec's contact page is http://themanbehindthewords.com/contact.html

Finally, just let me say to Cecil Murphey, author extraordinaire:

"Thanks Cec, for letting God use you to bless my life and the lives of so many.

Thank you for not telling God "No" when He changed your directions and put you on new paths.

Thank you for keeping the faith when things turned painful, in the face of physical illness, the loss of your home and so many other hurts no one else will ever no about. You kept trusting and obeying. I'm grateful to God that you did.

Your life and your writing have blessed me, helped me and brought me closer to God.

May God grant that each day you continue your walk and each day you are closer to Him. May your best days be still to come."

To read more about Cecil Murphey Appreciation Month