Genesis 5020

My Story for His Glory

Part XXIII-Open Up the Gates July 27, 2012

Our relationship with our Pastor and his wife had grown closer over the years since we returned to elem3nt. We started camping with Pastor Gayle and his “insta-family”. They had been trying for fourteen years to have a baby. They adopted three children and guess what? They got pregnant. All in a matter of year.

On our next camping trip with Gayle we decided to share our story. We figured after the kids went to bed we would tell them while we sat around the campfire.

Every night it rained so we never had a fire. My nerves were a tangled mess as I continued to wonder what night we would share.

Finally, on the last night it didn’t rain.

We sat around the campfire after the kids went to bed. I can’t remember exactly what Gayle’s wife said but something like she was grateful for our friendship and we could just be regular people when we were together.

What a perfect segue, right? I couldn’t open my mouth. Patrick looked at me as if to say, “Go for it.” But I knew I needed him to get the conversation started.

He did. We shared.

Pastor Gayle said one of the coolest things I have ever heard after we have shared. He said, “Praise God, He won one.”

Now, He didn’t mean that God doesn’t win very often, he just meant that so often we hear of marriages that don’t survive, of couples who are torn apart by adultery. But God won our marriage.

Pastor Gayle wasn’t shocked, wasn’t mad that we didn’t share sooner. None of that.

Once again there was love.

Once again my heart healed a bit more.

About a month after that our lifegroup got back together after several weeks off. We knew would share at that time.

Now let me back track for a moment. The summer of 2009, when I had the affar, I sat with some church ladies and one of the ladies said something that floored me.  We were talking about disobeying God and she said, “I never purposely disobey God, do you?”

I couldn’t answer. I sat there and simply thought. “I did. I purposely disobeyed. And I will never tell anyone in my church what I did. No one would understand.”

I tell you this as a warning to be careful what we say. You never know where someone else is at on their journey. That statement was enough to make me want to hide my story forever.

Thankfully, God got a hold of me and I knew I couldn’t disobey Him again.

So here I am, a year after the affair, about to tell church people what God had done in my life, my marriage.

Remember, one of the couples in the group went through the exact same thing several years before, yet I was scared. I don’t think I looked anyone in the eye. I found a nice place on the wall to stare at.

We shared. We cried. We were loved. More healing came.

I believe during that time of sharing  Genesis 5020 worked its way into our story and has been a part of it ever since.

The other couple said, “You could have told us.”

I nodded, I knew I could have. “I was so ashamed.”

Everyone still loved us. And now we could be us. We had no secrets.

That fall I heard a friend of mine, who I talked to only once in a while, might be getting a divorce. Instead of gossiping and speculating about it I called her and asked.

She said yes, the information was true. Then she confessed to me. She had an affair.

I sobbed into the phone. “I did too.”

I offered what I could to her, my love, support and prayer. I continue to offer that to her but her story ended much differently than mine. Although she repented of her sin and wanted to fix her marriage that did not happen. I do understand that not every marriage can be salvaged after such a terrible sin.

Now, hear me. The only person who has a right to divorce is the spouse who was sinned against when it comes to adultery. That is the only time God says it is okay. If Patrick wanted a divorce he could have gotten one without disobeying God. If I wanted one I would have been digging myself into an even deeper pit of darkness, pain and disobedience. I had no right to ask for a divorce.

That being said, I believe God even wants us to work through that mess. I believe it pleases Him when a marriage can survive something so horrible. He is the healer, He can heal all things.

After telling Pastor Gayle and our life group we knew the day would come when we would tell our church body. We didn’t know when or how, only that we would.

We also knew before we told our church we had to tell our families.

In the fall of 2010 I also read a book Wounded Heart. This book is about dealing with sexual abuse. I started to feel a need to help others to heal from abuse. I wondered how many other women had been abused and had affairs? It seemed all the women I knew who had affairs had also been abused.

In the book the author talked about speaking to your abuser. I skimmed over that chapter. I couldn’t talk to my abuser. It would be too hard and weird. He was still a part of my life, I saw him a couple of times year and I was comfortable pretending that everything was fine.

Once again, I told God “never.”

Next week I will share what my never turned into. I am sure you can guess.

And the God of all grace, who called  you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 NIV

I’d love to hear about some of your “nevers” you told God and how He turned that around and you ended up doing it. Feel free to share with us in the comments.

Just a reminder:

Patrick and I are very excited to share something with you. As we draw to the close of our story we would love to hear your stories. We have created an email account just for that. Do you have a Genesis 5020 that needs to be told? It doesn’t have to be marriage or abuse, it could be anything. Don’t think your story is too small. Nothing God does is small. If you prefer to be anonymous that is no problem, just tell us that in your email. We would prefer you paste your story in the body of the email, do not send an attachment. You can start sending your stories at anytime, we will contact you when and if we use your story on the blog.

We would also like to use that email to help you. If you are going through something and you need to talk to one of us don’t hesitate to email us and let us know. We are not counselors and don’t pretend to be but we know the joy that is found on the other side of pain. We can’t drag you to the other side but we can encourage you along the way.

email us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

We can’t wait to get your Genesis 5020’s out for the world to see God’s glory.

 

Write to the Point with Bonnie Leon July 25, 2012

Congratulations to Beth who won Peggy Blann Phifer’s book To See the Sun.

This week we get write to the point with Bonnie Leon.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I was born in Yakima, Washington but spent my youth in Kent, Washington back when it was a small town surrounded by farms. It was a wonderful place to grow up.

When the Northwest was discovered and towns turned into cities, my husband and I decided we wanted our children to grow up in the country so we moved to Southern Oregon. That was in 1980 and we’ve been here ever since. We live in the Cascade foothills on a small property nestled in the forest and are thankful to be here. Our children are grown now with families of their own. Our youngest daughter lives on the property right next door to us and we’re thrilled to be part of her family’s life.

In 1991 a loaded log truck slammed into a van I was driving. My injuries made it impossible for me to return to work and so I turned to writing instead. I published my first book, The Journey of Eleven Moons, in 1994. Since that time I’ve published nineteen novels and I’m working on number twenty.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was blessed to grow up in a good home with family that loved me, but that didn’t mean the world couldn’t touch me. A speech impediment that required two years of speech therapy brought out the meanness in the children I knew. I was deeply wounded by their taunts and teasing. I came out of those years believing I was strange and somehow less than others. Already feeling like an outcast a sexual assault drove home a sense that I was bad and unlovable. I never said anything to my parents so they weren’t able to help me. I silently carried that guilt for many years and even as a young adult I felt like a worthless piece of rubbish. I longed for a savior, but I didn’t understand that my heavenly Father had provided one.

 Throughout the years, God tried to get my attention, but I refused to listen until I was hit by a series of tragedies. In a matter of months, my father died, my stepfather died, I lost a baby and my husband told me he didn’t love me and wanted a divorce. I was broken.

During that time, an old friend showed up at my house. She told me that she’d found Jesus and explained how much He loved me. I didn’t fully believe her, but I felt a glimmer of hope. Maybe someone did love me. Two weeks after our visit, I turned on the television to a religious program she’d told me about—The 700 Club. I was just in time for the salvation prayer, and I knelt in front of my television and prayed with Pat Robertson and placed my life in Jesus hands. I cried and cried . . . out of joy. I’ve never been the same—I am a new creation.

 A couple of months after that, God restored my marriage. My husband and I will celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary this August. God is amazing!

Yahoo!!! That just gave me chills. My husband and I celebrate marriages that are restored. Praise God! 

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

Joy Takes Flight is book three in a series that takes place in 1930’s Alaska. Kate Evans and Paul Anderson are finally married and Kate is living her dream. They are settling in, and when they learn she is expecting a child they rejoice, but soon it is clear that they have hurdles ahead of them.  Demons from Paul’s past haunt him and Kate is unable to break through the barriers he’s erected. Kate wonders should she continue in her dangerous profession as an Alaskan bush pilot? Can she really fall into the role of a wife? When tragedy strikes, life begins to unravel, and Kate fears she may have lost Paul for good.

When readers finish the last page and set down the book, I pray they will have a sense of hope and a fresh understanding that we each have our own path to walk, and that ours doesn’t look like anyone else’s. God has an individual plan for each of us and He has a purpose for our lives. If we want to live within His will we need to begin with Him. If we surrender our lives to Him there is nothing we can’t do and even though life may throw darts it can still be filled with meaning and joy.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

My goal is to blog three times a week. Depending upon my schedule, that can vary. For instance I am in the midst of launching my new book and I’m so busy I’ve been neglecting my blog. I hope to get back to it next week.

On Monday’s I share Quiet Moments With God. These blogs are taken from my personal time with God and whatever he has laid upon my heart to share.

Wednesdays it is Books and Writing. I speak to readers about books that I’ve read and loved or I share writing tidbits that might be helpful to other writers.

Friday is all about Relationships . . . of all kinds. It is something I’ve experienced or seen that God has lain on my heart to share.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

With all the wonderful books in the world, how can I pick just one? I can only say that one that I’ve read recently was a great read. It was written by Laura Frantz and is called The Colonel’s Lady. It was a fabulous blend of history, romance and story. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life

My accident in 1991 comes to mind first. I was traveling up a winding road near my home when a loaded log truck barreled around a corner from the opposite direction. It tipped over and hit my van, which was left teetering on the edge of a cliff. My daughter, who was with me, was uninjured, but I was left with permanent injuries to my back and now live with chronic pain.

I lived through a couple of really bad years where I fought to find a new life. I was afraid, depressed and angry. I’d lost everything (or so I thought). I was an active and involved mother and homemaker. And after the accident I couldn’t do  even simple things like fix meals for my family, clean my house or even buy groceries. I felt worthless.

One day, in a desperate state I asked God to please give me something to do that mattered. The story is too long to share here, but He brought writing into my life in a miraculous way. He threw open every door and what the enemy meant for evil, God used for good. Life is not easy, but it is very rich.

Truly a Genesis 5020, I love it!

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

I love God’s Word. There are so many verses I cherish. However, I especially love Isaiah 40:26-31.  I return to it again and again. Each time, it encourages and uplifts me. I am reminded of the beauty and power of God.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find my website at www.bonnieleon.com (access to my blogs is on my home page).

My twitter address is @Bonnie_Leon

My author page on facebook is at http://www.facebook.com/BonnieLeonAuthor.

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Thank you. I appreciate this opportunity to share with readers here on your blog. I love to connect with people. I hope they will feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

Grace and peace to you from God.

Thanks so much for your time and sharing your heart, I am sure your interview will touch the hearts of many readers.

Readers, Bonnie is giving away a paperback copy of her book Joy Takes Flight to one commentator. Just leave a comment by July 31 at 5:00 PM.

 

Write to the Point with Peg Phifer July 18, 2012

This week we get write to the point with Peg Phifer.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

Of my birth family, I am the only one left. Mom, Dad, brother, sister, all waiting for me in Heaven. I’m a transplanted Wisconsinite now living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and I really love my adopted hometown. Met the love of my life here, too. God does give us second chances. How long I’ve been writing is up for debate. As a serious writer seeking publication, somewhere around the time I hit 50, +/- (grin)

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

I was blessed to be born into a Godly home with Godly parents, so I was raised in the church. I had my rebellious times, but I found Jesus as my Savior in my early twenties at a revival camp meeting preached by my grandfather Blann. He knew how to send a spear of conviction straight to the heart, bypassing all my pretentions.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

TO SEE THE SUN is about forgiveness and second chances. Everyone Erin Macintyre loves has been taken away from her and her well of faith has run dry. Her life and future is a pile of twisted metal at the bottom of a mountain ravine. Now widowed, pregnant, and scared, Erin sees no clear path ahead. When things go from bad to worse, threatening her life and that of her unborn baby, Erin realizes she can no longer handle this alone. God doesn’t abandon us . . . we abandon Him.

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

 My blog, Whispers in Purple is a bit eclectic and my posts tend to be sporadic. However, every Friday I do a column I call BookBites in which I feature new book releases (mostly fiction) and their authors with a guest post, usually with giveaways. Otherwise, I blog as the whims hit.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

Oh, goodness. Just one? In the past, my stock answer would have been “Exodus,” by Leon Uris. (the movie, too!) But as I think back recently, I have to change that answer to “Chesapeake,” by James A. Michener. A lot of folks don’t care for Michener, I guess because his writing can be ponderous. But his research is meticulous in both historical fact and setting. “Chesapeake” as the title would suggest, is about the history of the Chesapeake Bay, its history and its people down through the years. It is especially meaningful to me because my paternal family history is deeply rooted on Eastern Short Maryland. I found the entire reading experience fascinating.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life? 

 That would have to be the day my (first) husband asked for a divorce. (I’ve never understood why.) Nowhere to go, no family anywhere close, and hating living in the cold north woods of Wisconsin, I chose to head for some warmer climes and ended up in southern Nevada. Here I met my future husband, found my faith again, after feeling totally cast adrift, and I’ve never looked back. Well, almost never.

So sorry to hear about your divorce but so grateful that God used all of that for His good and to bring you back to His Love and the love of your future husband. He is good.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

At the present time, my life-verse is Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This verse speaks to me on so many levels. Though I’ve not been through as much as Erin Macintyre, life here in Phiferland has been anything but easy.

Where can we find you on the web?

            Blog: http://www.whispersinpurple.com

            Website: http://peggyblannphifer.com

            Facebook: www.facebook.com/pegphifer

            Twitter: www.twitter.com/pegphifer

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Not that I can come up with.

Peg, thanks for much for sharing with my readers. I love the cover of your book : )

Readers, Peg is giving away a Gift Card for TO SEE THE SUN for an e-copy on Amazon (Kindle) or B&N (Nook) winner’s choice. Just leave a comment for her by July 24 at 5:00 PM to be entered.

 

Part XXII-Sharing Begins July 17, 2012

Filed under: Melissa's Genesis 5020 — Melissa Finnegan @ 6:12 pm
Tags: , , , ,

We are in August of 2009, only two months from the affair. Even though I knew God would have us share our story I thought that time couldn’t possibly be now. I felt raw and not ready.

But just because I’m not ready doesn’t mean God isn’t ready.

As God continued to write our story, adding new chapters daily, He showed us a couple we needed to share with.

Once you have been through something like this you can spot the same patterns in other marriages. Probably like if you have lost a child you can see that same hurt in another persons life without that person telling you. Once you see the pain in your life you can identify it in the lives of others.

I did not want to share, we were still healing. But I knew I couldn’t sit by and see another marriage destroyed if we could help in some way.

So for the first time, only two months to the day of the last time I saw the man, we shared our story.

The couple was astonished to learn everything just happened months, not years, ago because of the strength we displayed. Not our strength but the strength of God.

The other cool thing that took place was the love. Once again, undeserved, but lavished on me. The couple still loved me.

Also, the healing. When I shared I felt a little more whole, a little more healed.

Because of our sharing they sought counseling and their marriage is going strong. Their eyes were open to things they had been neglecting.

I went back to work in September. Honestly, I wondered if I would tumble back into my old patterns. I could easily contact the man while at work.

Shannon Ethridge said in her book Every Women’s Battle, something that stuck with me. I am paraphrasing but she said something along the lines of: don’t think I am never going to talk to that man again, I will never see him again, because that can seem overwhelming. Instead think, today I will not contact him, today I will not allow myself to think about what happened. And you do that everyday. Before you know it you don’t have to think that way because the desire is gone.

It worked. I had no desire to get in touch with the other man. No fear that I would try to reach out to him. My chains dropped and  freedom found me.

I had the best teaching year of my life. I believe it was because of the my relationship with God and my husband. I wish every year could be so good.

During that school year, 2009-2010, we didn’t share our story with anyone else and I was good with that.

God wasn’t.

We joined a life group in 2010 and we knew one of the other couples had gone through the same thing. They shared in church but we didn’t feel like we could talk to them, or I didn’t because of my position in the church. Once we joined their group we knew eventually we would tell them, but I never thought I would tell the whole group. Ha!

In July of 2010 I went on an Emmaus Walk. If you don’t know what that is, I can tell you it is life changing. I can’t tell you a bunch about it because that is part of the wonder, all the surprises. But I encourage you to go if you never have. If you are someone who knows me personally and would like to go let me know. I will sponsor you. Seriously.

While there I met woman. When I talked to her we had an instant connection. Our first day getting to know each other I wanted to tell her everything. I thought how weird, I just met her. But I didn’t tell her.

The next day she came to me after an emotional time and told me she had an affair. I began to cry and confessed to her as well. God is amazing isn’t He? I have no doubt He put us together that weekend.

Her affair happened many years before mine, yet I seemed more healed.

She also shared that she had been sexually abused as well. She never received help for any of it.

I am telling you all right now, if you have been through something traumatic you need help. You cannot fix it on your own. You can try and you might even have a day or two that you feel good, but apart from God you can never truly heal. I believe He has placed good Christian counselors in this world to led us to that healing.

My affair was a year ago yet I was comforting her, her affair was five years ago and she was still carrying the weight of her shame.

I told my new friend I wouldn’t share my story with anyone else on The Walk.

I should learn to stop saying never.

I did. I told my table group everything. I was sure the little old lady that was in my group would hate me and think I was a horrible person.

Another shocker. She told me before we went home that she just wanted to hug me when I told my story and she said, “You are beautiful.”

What a sweet spirit she possessed.

One final thing to share that happened on my Emmaus Walk. During an emotional prayer time our last night, I sat in the quiet of the sanctuary and just listened for God.

I heard: You will tell your story to Pastor Gayle and to your life group.

I literally gasped out loud. No doubt in my mind God gave me a command. One I was not ready for but one I knew had no choice but to follow.

I went home and told Patrick the time had come. He looked surprised but agreed that if God told me I needed to be obedient.

Next week I will share what happened.

If you have a few more minutes click here. I woke up with this song in my head.

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 NLT

Patrick and I are very excited to share something with you. As we draw to the close of our story we would love to hear your stories. We have created an email account just for that. Do you have a Genesis 5020 that needs to be told? It doesn’t have to be marriage or abuse, it could be anything. Don’t think your story is too small. Nothing God does is small. If you prefer to be anonymous that is no problem, just tell us that in your email. We would prefer you paste your story in the body of the email, do not send an attachment. You can start sending your stories at anytime, we will contact you when and if we use your story on the blog.

We would also like to use that email to help you. If you are going through something and you need to talk to one of us don’t hesitate to email us and let us know. We are not counselors and don’t pretend to be but we know the joy that is found on the other side of pain. We can’t drag you to the other side but we can encourage you along the way. 

email us at: 5020genesisstories(at)gmail(dot)com

We can’t wait to get your Genesis 5020’s out for the world to see God’s glory. 

 

Part XXI-A Mighty Stream July 13, 2012

This week and last week has been what we in the fiction writing business would call character deepening or development. I’ve given you a glimpse into my inter-life instead of moving things along. Next week I will move the plot again, and rather quickly.

Today I am going to share one more encounter with God.

To other writers who are reading this; I know there are a ton of passive verbs. I wrote this before I knew what a passive verb even WAS (passive verb) but wanted to keep it close to the real thing, so forgive me : )

See His love, feel it. Pictures yourself in the moment. Make it your own. Know that His words are not for me only, but for all. For you.

August 16, 2009

I was mediating on the words, “I run in the path of your commands for you have set me free.”

I saw myself running on a path in the woods. The sun streamed through the tree leaves. It was warm and beautiful as I ran, feeling like my heart was free.

All was yellow and green around me. My hair blew behind me. I flung my arms wide up while I ran. I twirled around.

The next thing I knew I stood beside a stream and there my Savior, my Lover, my Friend, sat upon a rock. He turned to me and smiled as if He were expecting me. I’m sure he was. He was radiant.

“Come sit with me,” He spoke gently.

Beside Him sat an empty rock, so I ambled down and sat with Him.

He immediately took both my hands in His and asked what was on my heart today. I told Him and He imparted words of wisdom, words of peace. He knew my hurts, my disappointments before I even spoke them. He assured me that all things happen in His time and He would provide me that timing, it would be perfect.

Then I lifted up my prayers. I asked for wisdom, He said He already gave that to me. That I need to stay in His Word and there I would find it.

All this time he still held my hands.

He then urged me to just let Him speak to my heart. He let go of my hands and stood over me. I faced the stream and closed my eyes.

I felt the heat of the sun, the warm, gentle breeze dance in my hair, I heard the birds sing me a song and I heard the stream.

It was then that I felt Him speak to me.

My love for you is like that stream, my life in you is like that stream. It never runs dry, it is constant, always there.”

He then poured His love on me. Whispering that I have captured His heart. I kept hearing that; I have captured His heart.

It was overwhelming and beautiful.

But He knew. He knew I was still troubled by something I shared earlier. Again, He sat down and took my hands. He looked deeply into my eyes and shared my burdens.

He told me again I should not be anxious. These where not my burdens to bare, that he had them, they were His. I should just be filled with peace.

Finally, I  felt myself let go. I fell to my knees before Him and poured my love out to Him.

Oh, I love Him so.

He held my head to His chest and stroked my hair. He knew I loved Him.

I told Him I was so sorry for all the times I didnt’ show it, or live it.

He knew and He forgave me. He reminded me someday we would be together forever and I would truly feel His arms around me. For now He has given me Patrick to hold me. When I feel Patrick I am to feel Him.

Someday we will have real moments like this. I don’t question how, I just know we will.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. Psalm 119:32 NIV

Who has God given to you right now to hold you until He can? A spouse, a parent, a child, a friend?

 

Write to the Point with R.L. Copple July 11, 2012

Congratulations to Jo who won Joi Copeland’s book from last week’s interview.

This week we get write to the point with R.L. Copple.

Tell us about yourself, family, where are you from, how long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing fiction in earnest since October 2005. I’ve written non-fiction prior to that, not a lot published, but devotionals, sermons, and bible studies mostly (not counting research papers in college). In high school I did a little writing. A couple of short stories, a Shakespearean comedy, and several comic books, including the drawing.

I graduated from college in 1984 with a BA in religion, and pastored two different churches back in the 90s. Mostly worked in bookkeeping/finance for the last several years. Been married to the love of my life since May 15, 1982. I have three children, all out of high school. Oldest is my daughter who we just married off. The other two are boys, one of which is going to the Universityof Texasthis fall.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior?

My dad was a Baptist pastor in my early years, but eventually our family drifted away from God, and we didn’t go to church or talk about God or Jesus from about 8 years old and on. But in 1976, I began to get interested in what was in the Bible, thanks to a classmate I overheard talking about giant scorpions that would be stinging all the non-Christians on the last day. I ended up reading the New Testament and realized I needed a church where I could be helped to understand it better, so I started praying to God. In what would otherwise appear to be purely circumstantial, He arranged for a pastor to come by our house, stop, and invite me and my brothers to vacation bible school. So here I was, a 16 year-old, attending vacation bible school with all these kids. But that Friday after a brief homily, I gave my life to Christ and asked him to forgive my sins. And that turned my whole life into a new direction. Been learning and growing in that direction ever since.

Tell us about your latest book(s). What do want your readers to take away after the last page?

My last book completed “The Reality Chronicles” trilogy and is titled Reality’s Fire. The first two are Reality’s Dawn and Reality’s Ascent. It is a fairytale fantasy in a parallel world with a Medieval feel. Being a parallel world, there are similarities with ours, but also differences. Some events have progressed at different rates than our world has.

The book details the adventures of Sisko, his wife Gabrielle, and his children Kaylee and Nathan, along with several friends and characters over the course of the series, in relation to a ring that attaches to the wearer and enables them to do miracles to help others, but will be a curse if one uses it for selfish purposes. Written on the ring is the verse, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The story begins with the entrance of the ring into the world in Reality’s Dawn and ends at its final destination in Reality’s Fire.

This last book focuses on two points-of-view, Gabrielle, and her daughter, Kaylee. Romance is involved in this book more than the previous two, but becomes the battle ground for not only the ring, but Kaylee’s soul as she struggles between her moral beliefs and the temptation to break them.

The meaning that binds these stories together is how the presence of God reveals the character of the individual, and how God’s presence can use even one who has sinned to accomplish great feats, but the most powerful of this world are defeated by it. It is the revelation of God’s reality into the world. Which should give us hope who depend on His grace to redeem us and enable us to “do all things through Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

How often do you blog and what do you cover in your blog?

I probably break the rules a bit in that I don’t have a set schedule, some post are on the longer side, and I don’t always use pictures. But it also gives me the freedom to put up how-to articles, like the recent one about how to use Open Office Writer and Calibre to create ebooks. I’ve also done a few book reviews, some opinion pieces on various writerly topics, as well as some writer tip pieces, like the one titled “7 Common Pitfalls of Critiquers.”

I also do a monthly blog column at the review site, Grasping for the Wind, usually comes out the 16th of each month. Also, I’ve done several guest blog posts here and there.

Can you share with us a favorite book you have read?

One of my favorites, in large part because it is the book that sent me down the path of reading speculative fiction, is The Runaway Robot by Lester Del Ray. It sent my imagination into overdrive. Because of that book, I also read the likes of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. But I absorbed the science fiction books in my high school library and my only regret is that there didn’t seem to be much Christian oriented literature among science fiction writers. That has changed some since the 70s, but there is still a lot of good territory to cover.

Can you share with us a Genesis 5020 in your life

During my last job as a city financial officer, the political climate changed so that the controlling group sought to get rid of everyone with the previous administration. False accusations were made against me that never stuck (because they were false) and I had to literally watch my back. Doing what was right got me in trouble. They finally got rid of me last July. At first, I was worried about our financial situation, but God has blessed us and it has ended up giving me more time to focus on writing as well as searching out new avenues that I might not have considered before. And my stress level is now a hundred times less than it was while on that job. I don’t know what the future holds, but as the saying goes, I know who holds the future. And I’m not worried. They ended up actually freeing me to live again.

Do you have a life and/or a ministry verse?

Yes. Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first thekingdomofGod, and all these things will be added to you as well.”

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: http://www.rlcopple.com

Blog: http://blog.rlcopple.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rlcoppleauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rlcopple

Is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to add?

Yes. Do I have any links to articles or posts that would let you know more about the books? Why yes. I’m glad you asked.

I have two character interviews I’ve posted on my blog. One is an interview with undoubtedly the most eccentric and interesting character in these books, Joel.

http://blog.rlcopple.com/?p=417

And a recent interview with Sisko’s wife, Gabrielle, who is one of the key points-of-view in Reality’s Fire that just came out this month.

http://blog.rlcopple.com/?p=652

I think your readers would not only find them entertaining, but informative.

And thanks for having me. I enjoyed it.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share with my readers.

Readers, enter to win an e-book of Reality’s Fire. Just leave a comment by July 17 at 5:00 and you will be entered.

 

Part XX-On a Mountain July 6, 2012

Last week I told you God started showing up in highly visual ways to me. Since most of my trouble began in my mind this made sense for me. God wanted my mind fixed on Him. At the risk of sounding crazy I will share my first big encounter with Him. I wrote down the first few because I never wanted to forget how God met my needs.

As I said last week God will speak to you in the way you will hear Him. Although you might want an encounter like the one I am about to share, you might not get it because that might not work for you.

If you recall on August 14 I wrote that I walked along the beach with Jesus. This next meeting took place the day after that. This is written directly from the notebook I began writing in at the time (different from my small scripture notebook).

August 15, 2009

“I enjoyed our walk on the beach. Where will you take me today?”

Before me loomed a mountain covered in brush and trees.

“Lord, you know I don’t like that kind of thing. I am afraid to go there.”

“It is because of your fear that you have missed many good adventures. Come, take my hand and don’t let go, then you can do it. Just don’t let go of my hand. The journey will be worth it, I made something for you.”

Before I knew it I stood at the top of the mountain.

“I did it.”

“Because you never let go of me.”

“Yes, I don’t ever want to let go.”

“Look. See. I made this for you.”

Surrounding me was the beauty of the earth. He put His arm around my waist and I giggled with joy. All for me?

“Let’s sit down and talk.”

So we sat side by side and I leaned my head on His shoulder. He gently touched my hair.

“What is on your heart dear one?”

So I talked to Him and He gave me words of wisdom. I didn’t want to leave.

“You can find me here whenever you wish. I will be here.”

I left and my heart was at peace.

At that point in my walk with God I desperately needed to know Him as the Lover of my Soul. I needed to feel Him and to realize that His love is better than any attention I could get from a man.

I remember telling my counselor, “I never knew I could be so in love with Jesus. That I could have these excited, giddy feelings when I spent time with Him.”

She smiled and nodded. I knew I wasn’t crazy.

Three years later these encounters are few and far between. I believe that is because I am stronger now, God speaks to me in new ways that make sense to me now on my journey. I miss those times, though. I relish the moments I do have when I feel Him beside me so intensely.

Next week I think I will share the following encounter. The next one is pretty amazing.

Hope you don’t all think I’m crazy. Of course, I am crazy for Jesus and I am not ashamed of that fact one little bit. Without Him Patrick and I would have never survived all that we went through.

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,  your justice like the great deep. Psalm 36:5-6 NIV

Have you ever had a time when you worried people might think you were “a Jesus freak”? Want to share?