Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review

My friend published a novel this year. It was a joy to have time to read his work this past week as it provided an entertaining yet thought provoking escape from the chaos of a busy time in my life. The story had me laughing, wondering what would happen next, and gee, I confess.....I even shed a tear!

The official book jacket description entices you to read this tale with this pitch:

In a small southern town Tom Weston ran outside with tears streaming down his face in the middle of the night. He collapsed in a heap on the red earth. She couldn’t be gone. He wasn’t ready to say goodbye. He closed his eyes and saw again the stiff corpse laying in the bed upstairs. This was not a dream. A tale of grief, faith, and hope, follows the life of teenager Tom Weston as he strives to make sense of his shattered world. Given an opportunity to escape Podunk Greenwood and his past, he finds himself at the gates of the highly prestigious Locklear University. With the comical Dr. Emory as his friend and mentor, Tom struggles to survive in this strange new world ruled by the despicable Dean of students. Tom and wealthy roommate, Charles Montgomery, are fatefully paired to tackle the pressures of school, family, and their impending futures as they join a mysterious secret society together. When blonde bombshell Julia Stine walks into the picture things only get more confusing.

Because this is the Carrot Top Studio blog I must note that I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the main character's entering into worshipful moments and worship spaces. The college campus setting took me back to my days as a coed. I think this short novel would be an interesting small group book study that could span many generations. Reading Finding Tom would allow a group to discuss where we encounter God, how we've been mentored, the role and need of mentoring during the formative years of young adulthood, how we're called to stand for what we believe in and much more!

The author, Simeon Harrar, is a young seminarian and I can not wait to see what God has in store for him as he combines his passion for writing, his history of growing up in the mission field, his gift for connecting with youth and his call to serve the Church. While we await all this, if you are interested in this title it can be purchased for your Kindle here and in paperback here.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States. As you may know the motto is:

Investing in Hope... 

Transforming our Nation Through Prayer!

Sometimes I get cynical and think why in this country of so much wealth and opportunity do we need to take this focus on this one particular day? But then as the thoughts roll through my mind I think that we may need it more than anyone else. We get so easily caught up in the "opportunities" and can get sidetracked from the purpose of how God might really want to be using us. Serving in Haiti and seeing how my brothers and sisters that love the Lord in that country yet live lives of simplicity and hard work, while oozing joy (literally singing themselves through their days), causes me to refocus my sarcasm. Then I know that in this nation there is as much need as there is in other parts of the world. It is just a different need. 

As I join in the hope of transforming this nation through prayer I think of two people that were placed in my life. First, was a friend who was like me; a wife, mother and artist. But she was older and wiser. This dear woman had a mighty life wrapped in prayer and she kept a list of the president and his cabinet in her prayer journal so she could remember to pray for these leaders by name--daily. I'm sure prior to this I had whispered some "God please bless this country" type prayers but this was the first time I'd heard of someone making it so personal and part of a daily prayer life. Secondly, about a decade ago,  I was able to have dinner with a former United States Chaplain. While learning about his ministry this very humble, servant told of starting each day with a walk to his offices at the Capitol. He carried a list of the current congressmen and prayed for ten of them each day. He shared enlightening stories of how this helped draw him closer to the congressmen, to their needs, and to the needs of our government. He truly believed in transforming the nation through prayer. His example and tales encouraged me to not neglect the needs of these leaders even when I didn't believe in their particular politics. 

Such an imperfect child of God am I but, I remain thankful for the people that God places in my life that can teach us lessons...such as to pray for my invest in hope.