Tag Archives: writing

Sharing Jesus with Muslims in America

Sharing Jesus with Muslims

 

As God is in the business of answering prayer, it was no coincidence that the request for a review landed in my inbox recently. In a sec, you’ll understand where I’m going with this.

I’m nearing the end of my latest manuscript, and while I won’t spend time on it here cuz I don’t want you getting weary hearing about it, I’ll just say it’s going to be a doozy and it’s kicking my proverbial writer’s behind to the curb, y’all.

But I will tell you like all my books, there’s a faith theme, because when all is said and done, that’s probably the only thing that’s going to get us out of this world alive. Can I get an Amen?

So let me tell you about this book I was asked to review.

It’s a doozy, too.

While we all debate open or closed borders and who’s right and who is wrong, the real question should be, “how do we treat our Muslim neighbor?” Because if you don’t already have a Muslim friend or neighbor, you probably will soon. You don’t have to traipse across the Sahara  >cough< may or may not be a hint about my WIP, to find them.

Abu Daoud has written a stunningly well organized, well researched and cited book that walks a Christian through how to befriend and answer their Muslim friend’s questions about Jesus. It comes from experience, which is important because the Qu’ran teaches about Jesus so before we go off spouting what may be either silly or offensive, knowing how a Muslim thinks about Him will help immensely.

And this book lays it all out there.

I read it in a couple of days, and feel like I have a good foundation, and yet I also was inspired to learn more.

And I suggest you pick up a copy as well, because understanding a culture and religion we only hear about or shy away from because we’re uncomfortable won’t do anyone any good at all.

Here’s just a hint of how you will be challenged and informed in Sharing Jesus:

  • “Most Muslims in the United States have no idea what Christians actually believe. Muslims are from locations where the gospel is hardly available, and they will not come to know the gospel without the efforts of American Christians.” Kindle location 380
  • Did you know most Muslims believe all westerners are Christians, and because of that they attribute everything, and I mean all the bad stuff too, as being acceptable to Christians? Better to call ourselves “followers of Jesus” or “a follower of the way.” Kindle location 985
  • The Qu’ran quotes the Bible, but some Muslims claim the Bible has changed, and yet one can compare the two and see it hasn’t, which actually validates the Bible’s claims. Location 1083
  • Muslims do not have the same understanding of religion that most secular folks in the West do. They do not believe that religion needs to be hidden away in churches or homes.” Location 1516

Your own faith will be increased and perhaps even challenged in places, and I know your understanding of what Muslims believe will be. It’s not too academic or clunky, it flows well, and has many references so you can check their work and learn more. The author told me there is a video and study guide coming, so stay tuned for updates about that.

Grab a copy and be prepared to speak gently and with respect to every tribe and nation. (Bev’s paraphrase)

Here’s the publisher’s summary of Sharing Jesus with Muslims in America:

“The Muslim population in the United States is growing quickly, and there are no signs of this growth slowing down. So how should Christians respond? With fear? With tolerance? By ignoring Muslims? Or with boldness, hope, and the Good News of Jesus Christ, clearly the biblical answer. For centuries the church did not go to Muslims with the gospel because Christians thought it was too dangerous or too difficult. Now God is bringing Muslims to America where Christians can lead them to Christ. But when I share this opportunity with churches around the country, I’m asked, “But how? How do I meet Muslims? How can my church make the connections?” This book seeks to answer those questions and more. If you are a Christian, I hope you will open your heart to God’s plan for Muslims in your community. You can start by reading this book.”

Bev out!

 

 

 

Galleys, Ads and Cover Art, Oh My! – The Kaleidoscope

 What if advances in artificial intelligence, combined with mystical elements found in the earth, could produce inexplicable images of the future?

Kaleidscope

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on The Kaleidoscope‘s progress, so here’s a quick update. My amazing, thorough, talented and patient editor at Wild Rose Press/Crimson Rose (Suspense) and I have been hard at work polishing and adding sparkle to the final manuscript, and we’re thrilled that it’s headed to galleys! (Notice the clever usage of publishing lingo.)

And now the housekeeping portion of the journey begins. Ad copy, back cover blurbs and tweetable quotes must be massaged and tweaked so the book’s represented in its very best light. (See what I did there?…light…kaleidoscope…)

I’ll soon begin working with an artist who will consider my ideas, we’ll discuss the image, graphic design and layout to make sure the cover is inviting and representative of the story inside.

Of course I’m enjoying these steps (and giving my noggin a rest because writing is hard, y’all), but I’m most excited for you to read the story of Harold Donaldson and his unusual journey of self discovery with a colorful and crazy group of friends brought together by the magical, beautifully hand-made kaleidoscope.

Here’s a short bit from the manuscript to give you a glimpse of what’s in store:

Rhashan paused, hand on the divider next to Harold’s desk. “Say, wot’s this?”
Harold chided himself for setting the Kaleidoscope in full view as Rhashan picked it up. “Mind if I look?” Rhashan emitted a low whistle as he spun the dial and then froze, his breath rushing between the gap in his teeth. Slowly, he lowered the ’scope and laid it on the desk like a fragile vial of nitro. “Where you git such a t’ing?” He backed up into the mail cart, catching it as it tipped, spilling the contents.
“It’s just something I’m keeping for a… friend.”
Rhashan’s complexion swirled from espresso to latte, his focus on the drawer where Harold dropped the Kaleidoscope and closed it out of sight.
“Are you all right? Here, sit.” Harold realized the man wasn’t going to allow him to maneuver him any closer because of whatever evil he perceived lurked in the drawer, so he rolled the chair behind him and pushed down on his shoulders.
“Mr. Harold, I wouldn’t have figured you for someone who played wid other people’s mind.” Colorful beads strung along his dreads clicked together as his head shook side to side. “But whatever you’re trying to do wid that t’ing, you’re dabbling in something you shouldn’t.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harold was getting a little impatient with all this talk of warnings and being careful. “It’s just a toy.” Perhaps Rhashan didn’t understand how the glass slid around to vary the images and so he removed it from the drawer and started to explain the mechanics.
“Oh no, it’s more than dat.” Rhashan stood, banging the chair against the wall. “Tell me what you see inside.”
To prove a point, Harold put it up to his eye. “I see colors and shapes that change when you—”
“Oh, no mon!” Rhashan leaned away when Harold held it out to him. The metal had warmed, and something shivered from within.
“What do you think you saw?”
“I see myself.”
Stay tuned for more updates including the cover art selection for The Kaleidoscope
Bev out. 

An unplanned pregnancy?

Today I’m honored to host Deborah Heal with a poignant, thought-provoking story that will touch your heart.

*****

Writing Real Good

by Deborah Heal

Christian fiction writers sometimes think their stories are less important than the sermons, essays, and treatises of the “serious” non-fiction writer. But imaginative writing has tremendous power to teach deep truths. For example, many, many people have come to know God through C. S. Lewis’ Narnia stories.

Storytelling is even an effective tool for fund raising. One Christmas, when it was time to send out the monthly newsletter for our crisis pregnancy center, I decided to use a story to help readers understand the problems families faced. Here is the letter I sent out:

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.” Luke 2:7

Every parent wants the best for their precious little ones. But for some couples like, Carl and Brenda…

June, 1955. Carl was just out of the service and couldn’t find a job. And he had a wife and two kids—Brenda, three-year-old Stevie, and two-month-old Patty. So Carl packed up the family and moved, but with the recession there were no jobs. For a while Brenda worked at the dime store, and Carl stayed home to watch the kids. With no gas for the car, he walked across town when he heard the Shell station was hiring. Sure enough, the sign in the window said, HELP WANTED, but the man inside told him the job had just been filled. It was a long walk back home. “The Air Force will take me back,” he told Brenda. But the Air Force was not taking men with two children.

The approaching Christmas season just highlighted their misery. “Well,” Brenda said, “at least Patty is too little to know about Christmas presents.” Or maybe she did and that’s why she cried so much. She seemed hungry all the time, no matter how often she nursed, and Brenda began to wonder if she had enough milk.

Brenda cried in the doctor’s office when he explained that, “yes, you can get pregnant even while you’re nursing.” And when baby Mikey came, he slept in a dresser drawer because Patty still needed the crib.

This Christmas season I am asking you to consider a very special gift so that we can continue to help families like Carl and Brenda’s resist the pressure to abort their baby “Mikey’s.” Your gift will allow us to help with baby supplies—like a crib for the baby to sleep in.

Apparently, my little story helped to put a face on the problems associated with unplanned pregnancies, because donations poured into the center. 

Does the story seem too overly sentimental? The “Patty” in the story is me. I’m grateful to be able to use my family’s ordeal to write “real good.”

 

Deborah Heal is the author of the young adult novels Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy She lives in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about southern Illinois history. She is married and has three grown children, three grandchildren, and a canine buddy named Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). Currently, she is working on book three in the Time and Again trilogy.

Visit Deborah at her website: http://www.deborahheal.com/, her  Facebook Fan Page, and Goodreads. Her books may be purchased on Amazon.com

Use your imagination

 

One of the questions I get quite often about my fiction writing is, “where do you get your ideas?”

I’ve pondered how to answer. Where do they come from?

Novel and short story writers call it “fiction brain,” but I think a better way to understand how that part of our minds work is to watch kids playing.

Remember your childhood? Hours spent on the floor, in the backyard, or dragging pull toys, like the one above. My mother tells me after breakfast I’d jump down, let her tie on my corrective saddle shoes, and toddle up and down the street dragging my “Lil Snoopy” while she dusted in her pearls and shirt waist dress. >cough< or capris and Keds…you get the picture.

Can you imagine letting a three-year-old outside for hours at a time like that these days? Call CPS!

Then I was into paper dolls, and that part of the brain that adores role playing began to bloom.

Little kids know how to access their imagination with just a few props and ideas from media, the classics and current culture.

Remember when someone would holler, “let’s play like….” and off you’d go, making up situations, and what-if’s, inspired by books, television shows, or movies? 

Here’s what launched me into full blown horse obsession. Mary O’Hara’s “My Friend Flicka,” followed by “Thunderhead,” (who was Flicka’s son) and the lesser known “Green Grass of Wyoming.”

With my collection of Breyer creation horse models (and shoe boxes cobbled together for stables) and I was off and running. Yeah, literally. Around the schoolyard, and in the back yard, and Pam’s yard.

And probably why I still write horses, dogs and various animals into all my stories.

And that’s how fiction-brain works.

What were your favorite toys and games? How could they inspire your imagination to build worlds, and play what-ifs at your keyboard?

Come on, let’s play like!!