Gail's Book Nook

Monday, February 17, 2014

Looking in the Window: Believing the Wrong Words?

God is dead. Remember those words from the 1960’s, spoken to make society pull away from Christianity. They shocked, stunned, and infuriated. Both the phrase and phase died as those who started the 1960’s anti-Christian slogan finally realized people weren’t buying it.

Words to dim the light of Christianity burned strong in the 1980’s, when those fighting to abolish the faith forced laws prohibiting prayer in schools. Here are a few.

The real world. In the 1980’s many were told their children needed the public schools to prepare them for the real world. The real world is what we make it. In many of our schools it has become one with students wielding guns and knives and selling drugs.

If we raise children with Christian beliefs and principles, society will become a place with Christian values. Not every person has to be a Christian to live in a world that promotes peace and love any more than every person needs to be violent to live in the current one. It’s a matter of which world one prefers. 

Culturally diverse. As Christians we have and should continue to honor the faiths of others as long as their beliefs bring positive values to our society. In the past, Christianity and the Jewish faith have produced a caring, prosperous culture. Both instruct their followers in strong moral principles and teach the Ten Commandments. Other religions have guidelines to live by that produce good. Harming others in the name of any religion should not be tolerated. At the same time, other religions need to honor Christianity. The phrase “culturally diverse” has been used to squelch Christianity, attempting to make Christians stop celebrating religious holidays and sharing their beliefs.

A place for God. Who would want to get to the Pearly Gates, face Saint Peter and tell him, “Yes, I put God in His place in the 1980’s?” God is everywhere. He’s in our hearts, our minds, on the streets, in our schools, in our churches, in our homes, in our closets. As Christians, God is in our being, in the breaths we take. We can’t go anywhere without Him, so attempting to designate places where we leave Him behind is ludicrous. A more correct phrase for those who mistakenly claim there are certain places God isn’t allowed would be, “God is in this place, but I choose not to acknowledge Him here.” 

Tolerance. By their faith it’s ingrained in Christians to be tolerant and respect others. A wonderful minister once said, “We’ve become so tolerant of everything that nothing means anything.” Christmas, Easter, Bible studies, prayer in schools and nativity scenes should mean something to Christians. 

Christianity needs to be taught in the home. True, but not every home practices Christianity. Looking at this from an altruistic sense, it’s a Christian’s responsibility to spread the Gospel to those who’ve never heard it. When we spread it to children who’ve never heard it, we raise a Christian society. What an oversight to call ourselves disciples of Christ and not include un-churched children in those we want to reach.

Christianity’s outlawed in the public schools. Even though many Christian teachers would like to share their faith, they can’t. For those not exposed to Christianity at home, other options are teaching them in Christian schools and Christian homeschooling groups.

If one isn’t inclined to look at this from an altruistic standpoint, he or she might ask, “Would I rather have my child live in a society filled with people who follow Christ's Gospel of love and peace or one that doesn't?”

Since the public schools stopped abiding by Christian guidelines, they’ve struggled with violence, including shootings, drugs and alcohol. They now condone sex in minors by supplying them with birth control.  

Now we have a new phrase.

Post Christian America. Over a span of roughly thirty or forty years attempts to kill off God or get Him out of the way by putting Him in His place have fallen short. Attack the faith. It’s not as strong as God. Some who send their children to public schools also teach the Bible to them. Quite a few in the Christian silent majority educate their children in Christian schools or homeschool them in the faith. ACSI, the Association of Christian Schools International, touches the lives of 5.5 million students worldwide, including those in the three thousand schools that are members of the organization in the United States.

A new facebook icon tells us it isn’t our job to raise our children to face a cruel and heartless world, but to raise them to make the world less cruel and heartless. Many are already doing this.  
Easter is just around the corner, reminding us that Jesus rose from the dead. He lives. God and Christianity are alive and well. 

Spread the GOOD NEWS!

Words to Believe

Psalm 67:
“May God be gracious to us and bless us
And make his face shine upon us,
That your ways may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
May the peoples praise you, O God;
May all the peoples praise you.
May the nations be glad and
sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples justly
and guide the nations of the earth.
May the peoples praise you,
O God;
may all the peoples praise you
Then the land will yield his harvest,
and God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth
will fear him.”

Proverbs 22: 6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

The Winner of One Choice

Hats, horns...

The winner of One Choice is...

Congratulations! June Foster.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Looking Out the Window: Ginger Solomon Talks about One Choice. Gives Away a Copy.

Welcome, Ginger Solomon!

It's so nice to have Ginger today. She'll give away a PDF copy of One Choice. To enter to win leave a comment and an e-mail address.

It's always interesting to know what writers like to read. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?

I loved reading. Many nights I could be found in my room reading until the wee hours of the morning then getting up at 6am to go to school. Even now it is incredibly hard for me to put down a good book even if I’m exhausted. As a child I loved mysteries – Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the like. Now I prefer romance in almost any genre.

Let's talk about your writing. Why do you write?

Such an easy question and yet difficult to answer. I write because I can’t NOT write. Even before the notion came to me to write novel-length fiction, I wrote in a journal. The desire to write hounded me for years before a dream instigated the vision of writing books.

Congratulations on your new book. Tell us about it.

One Choice is about a missionary kid whose parents were murdered for doing the work they loved. Cahri blames God for their deaths. When she is summoned to participate in the Bridal March, she feels it’s just another example of how God has abandoned her. Throughout her time at the palace, she sees God in everything, including the lives of the royal family. Their faith renews her own — just in time. To learn the rest, you’ll just have to read the book.

That sounds like a wonderful story. Where do you get ideas for your books?

Dreams. I know sounds cliché almost, but it’s the truth. So far every single manuscript I’ve written has come from a dream. I get a scene and work from there. I don’t remember the dream that started One Choice, but it must have been a doozy. 

LOL. Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer ALL THE WAY. For my latest WIP (work-in-progress), I tried to plot out each of the first few chapters. When I sat down to write, I couldn’t. There was nothing. Absolutely nothing. So I chucked the “plan” and let the words flow.

I can do some preliminary work on my characters, make a calendar, figure out my setting, but I cannot plan what happens. It’s just not how it works for me. I find it really ironic because EVERYTHING else in my life is organized. My spiritual gift is administration and I find that I am quite good at it. In my previous life (before children) I was a secretary. *shrug* Another glimpse into God’s humorous side.

That's interesting. Thanks for sharing. Does your faith affect your writing? If so, how?

Absolutely. How can it not? My whole goal in life is to glorify God, and I hope that comes through not only in my writing, but in my speech and actions.

My characters may struggle, and they even sin (gasp), but they always repent and make their lives right with God.  No one is perfect, especially not me. I mean if Paul an apostle could write in Romans 7:15 about doing that which he did not wish to do, and not doing what he wanted, how much more so do I?

Every day I struggle with doing the right thing. Just last week, I felt in my spirit that I should quit reading the book I was in the middle of. I didn’t and had to repent later because it had stuff in it that was not appropriate (for me). *sigh* I started another book last night by another unfamiliar author (you know it’s sometimes hard to tell what kind of book it will be from the description). As I got through the first few chapters, I felt that same nudging. This time I listened, but I had to beat down my flesh. I deleted the book off of my kindle, and will go into my Amazon account and delete it from there as well, so I don’t accidentally click on it again.

One thing I know though – God is faithful. When I repent and ask for forgiveness, He is there and wipes away the filthiness and washes me as white as snow. He’s there for you too, just waiting for you to ask.

Thanks for spending time with us, Ginger.

About One Choice:

Cahri Michaels is American by birth, but Belikarian by choice. Being selected to participate in the Bridal March forces her to give up the independent life she’s created for herself. She’s not ready to be anyone’s wife, much less to a man she doesn’t know.
Prince Josiah Vallis despises the centuries old tradition—the Bridal March—that is forcing him to choose a wife from fifty women. Why does it matter that he’s twenty-five and still single?
When Cahri and Josiah meet, sparks fly. Will it ignite a godly love that can see them through or will they be burned, never to be the same?

One Choice links:
Barnes and Noble
Astraea Press

Ginger Solomon is a Christian, a wife, a mother to seven, and a writer — in that order (mostly). When not homeschooling her youngest five, doing laundry or fixing dinner, she writes or reads romance of any genre, some sci-fi/fantasy, and some suspense. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, president of her local writing group, and writes regularly for three blogs. In addition to all that, she loves animals, horses especially, likes to do needlework (knitting, crocheting, and sometimes cross-stitch), and loves to sing in the choir at church.

 Ginger's Links:
Inspy Romance Blog
Facebook Author Page
Twitter @GingerS219

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Winner of The Last Detail

It was difficult to choose a winner! I solicited help from hubby and...

The winner of The Last Detail is...

Congratulations! Patti Shene!