CrossReads Book Spotlight: JESSIE’S HIGH COUNTRY HEART

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

JESSIE’S HIGH COUNTRY HEART

Dart River Novel #2

by Patricia Snelling

JESSIE'S HIGH COUNTRY HEART

Jessie Lee, a young New Zealand vet leaves the city to join her friend, Hope Rigby in the Southern Alps in a remote rural village called Glenorchy. When she takes up her new post there as a remote on-call vet, she encounters animosity and prejudice from male farmers who have lived in the area all their lives. They resent having a female vet take over when their long-standing vet, Max retires.

Will Jessie’s determination as well as her faith win through? Can she gain the respect of the bullying farmers?

She has caught the eyes of an admirer— someone who could possibly make all her dreams come true. Will the hard trials she endures make or break this budding relationship?

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CrossReads Short Takes: A Heartbroken Father & Musing Christian Principles

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CrossReads Short Takes

A Heartbroken Father

10-year-old Gracie & the Save a Soul Prayer Team

(A Fruit of the Spirit Book Book 1)

by Paula~ Rose

A Heartbroken Father

I’m always blessed to have God direct my writing!

This book and series would not exist if not for the Lord and a new friend who shared some things that lead me to ask others to pray for him. Aware of my burdened heart, God called me to write The 10-year-old Gracie & The Save a Soul Prayer Team series.

I hope you enjoy this book.

While you read this fiction, God may ask you to become a member of The Save a Soul Prayer Team and pray for people like those you’ll read about. I thank you, in advance, for doing this and look forward to hearing how God answers your prayers.

If you’d like to have your name in the next 10-year-old Gracie & the Save a Soul Prayer Team book titled, Billy-Bob’s Christmas Cookie, check out the cookie contest information right after the end of the book.
I hope your life is blessed like Gracie’s is and, now, to the story!

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Musing Christian Principles

An Old Man Thinking About Life

by Martin Murphy

Musing Christian Principles

A book of short articles relative to Christian doctrine, Christian life, and Christian culture. Written in the style of a devotional, it has more depth than typical Christian devotionals. The topics will challenge the reader to apply the principles after a thoughtful inquiry.

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 8/6/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

All this is from God…  – II Corinthians 5:18 ESV

Devotion

What does “All this” in our verse for today refer to specifically? The previous verse has the answer: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (II Corinthians 5:17) The “All this,” in other words, is the new creation that you have become in Christ Jesus. If you are a Christian, then the old has gone. That is, the old you, the spiritually sinful you, is gone. The new you, the spiritually righteous you, is here. It may not always look like it, but it is from God and, therefore, it is a reality.

This means that you have to look at Christians, including yourself, from a different point of view. As the Apostle Paul put it, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” What he means by this is that we should no longer regard Christians as being worldly in nature and character. It’s because Christians, including yourself, are new creations in Christ Jesus. As said before, it may not always look like it, but from God’s point of view it is a reality. As a result, you should never condemn Christians, including yourself. (Romans 8:1)

Today, you may have good reason to question whether this is true. You may find it hard to believe that someone like you, someone that still struggles with the old sin nature, can be a new creation. What you need to realize, however, is that the Bible is well aware of the struggles that you have with it. (see, for example, Galatians 5:17) Although it was crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), it still tries to rise from the dead and cause trouble from time to time. Despite this, the Bible regards you as a new creation.

The Bible regards you this way because God is no longer counting your sins against you. As Paul goes on to say, God “reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.” (II Corinthians 5:18-19) God made Christ Jesus “to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5:21)

Do not listen, then, to any condemnation Satan is sending your way. Do not lose heart! God has made you a new creation and that is that!

Til the Whole World Know

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Coming Back to the Smile 8/5/2019

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by Precarious Yates

These past few years have been difficult for me in ways I haven’t discussed publicly. Mostly, I withdrew. I had difficulties with one of my children to the point that I was emotionally needy. Extremely emotionally needy. The one thing I sensed from God was that I needed to love my child in the midst of her brokenness. But it was hard. Oh, let me tell you, it was hard. The most difficult part was knowing that I needed to come to the Lord to fill the constantly depleted well of love and patience, and all I sensed was a lecture from Him about how bad I was. Every scripture I turned to, every moment spent trying to communicate with God, all I encountered was this wall of sensing His disappointments in me. All my failings as a mom. All my moments of short temper. 

My well was empty, and the barrage of insults from my child seemed relentless. And the only one who could help me, Jesus, I thought was angry with me. 

Instead of turning to God, I began to turn to insipid and fairly innocuous means of passing the time and numbing the pain. In between her constant request that I would just “Go die already,” and some frighteningly specific threats, I played video games, I watched movies, I spent hours on Pinterest staring at pictures of gardens, beaches, and seaside gardens. I stopped turning to God. And my pit of depression grew deeper, the walls grew steeper. My daily anxiety skyrocketed. 

I don’t wish this place of despair on anyone.

On my last anniversary, I broke down and told my husband. For a solid hour, I shook and cried. All I wanted was to come to God and sense His smile, be filled with His love, and be able to love my daughter no matter what she said to me. 

I spent my early years as a Christian reading the Bible as much as possible. I wanted to dive into the scriptures again and find the ocean of God’s love and grace. One book I frequented more than others was Song of Solomon. In my own place of brokenness, I heard the echo of part of 1:4, “Draw me away, let us run…” I shot those words up to heaven as a last ditch effort of a prayer, as final and timid knock on God’s door. 

Those words cracked the door open, and I began to remember: the just shall live by faith (Hab. 2:4). I needed to discern by faith God’s joy over me. 

Once I applied a little faith, thanking God for His joy over me, the door opened a little more. “I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. “- Hosea 11:4

The tears that flowed were no longer fearful—they were now hopeful! The leap from fear to hope spans a vast chasm, but the Cross is the perfect catapult. 

The door opened even more, and I remembered Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”  – Zephaniah 3:17

But I had missed out on so much time. I wasted so much time. Would God still pour His love in my heart if I hadn’t been spending an hour with him every day for a month, or even a week? This was my first appearance in way too long. 

And He showed me this parable:

7 They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

8 And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’

9 And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.

10 Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius.

11 And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house,

12 saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’

13 But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

14 Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you.

15 Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’

16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” – Matthew 20:7-16

In God’s economy, I didn’t have to make up for lost time!

Then the door opened wide and I encountered the last thing I expected when I started turning toward Him: I sensed His smile.  

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” – Isaiah 40:11

Not only would God lead me, as a mom, gently, He would hold my daughter in His arms!

“…while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. – Luke 15:20

“19 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus,

20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,

21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:19-22

If you know of anyone who has adopted or does foster care, it’s likely they are facing a similar pit of despair to what I discussed earlier, along with a lot of judgment from adults around them. Reach out to them and ask if they are REALLY okay. They need far more help than they’re comfortable asking for. If you are in a spiritual place like what I discussed at the beginning of this blog, please reach out to someone. If you are a foster parent or have adopted, don’t be ashamed of needing extra love and help. Our kids who are so broken need extra love, and their parents need extra support.

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.

Links:

Facebook Amazon Author Page

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Gems From Pastor Jim 8/2/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 57:20-21 “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea. It is never still but continually churns up mire and dirt. There is not peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.

There just is no peace to be found for the soul apart from the Lord. All the promises of the world for peace are so shallow and empty. The soul is restless without the Lord and will never settle down to a life of peacefulness. The least little thing can break the appearances of peace. Because the soul without Christ is self-centered, it will always have problems with those who do not cater to its wants.

Living without the Lord never satisfies the longing of the soul. It is impossible for the soul to be content without the Lord. There will always be a craving for something else to satisfy. No matter what a person does or accumulates in life, it will never be enough. There will always be an emptiness, a lostness of the soul. People will crave for a sense of purpose and meaning for their lives, but will not find anything in the world which can give it to them. The restless soul will always be threatened or jealous of the accomplishments of others. It’s a life that never finds rest. There is no such thing as a wicked soul who has it altogether and is satisfied with it.

God gave us souls with a need for Christ. Only Jesus can clear up the muddy waters that encase the soul. He alone can give us what our souls need. He alone can give us purpose and meaning for living. When the Lord has control of the soul there no longer is a longing for something else. A relationship with God is what we were created for. In Christ alone we find the peace the soul craves for.

In those times in which we wander from God and reject His role in our lives, we find ourselves restless and unsatisfied. Peace eludes us and life is miserable. Dear friend, if you have wandered away from God or have rejected Him altogether, you will never be satisfied or find the peace your soul desperately needs. Only in Christ will you find what your soul craves for. Do not let another moment go by without the Lord. Turn to the Lord, confess your sins and the foolishness of your ways. Ask the Lord to forgive you and He will. In place of the emptiness of your soul He will give you a peace that passes all understanding.

Don’t believe Satan’s lies that you can find peace in the world apart from Christ. The only thing you will find is misery and death for your soul.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Scent of Fear

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

The Scent of Fear

A Novel (The Moses Trilogy Book 2)

by Susan J. Reinhardt

The Scent of Fear

The story continues – Book 2 of The Moses Trilogy – Set in Lancaster County, PA and Holmes County, Ohio.

After three years of tenuous peace, John and Ellie Zimmerman are shocked when two old friends show up in disguise. Their world is once again sent into turmoil.

Jim Kenneman, Director of National Security, masterminded the break up of a group persecuting Christians in the Lancaster Tourist Zone. Now, they’re gunning for him. At first, he relies on his negotiating skills, but his best operative convinces him that won’t work.

Monty, a topnotch operative, worked on the Bird-in-Hand assignment and helped bring down the New Patriots. A recurring dream prompts him to rescue his boss from possible murder. The agency might not be sending him on assignment, but he knows God is directing his path – one that could wreck his career, family, and cost him his life.

The operative and Director of National Security disguise themselves and escape from Washington, D.C. with the authorities hot on their trail. They head for Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania but know it’s temporary. Beyond that, the future is a giant question mark. In their travels, they stumble upon a network of safe houses. They’re fed, clothed, given supplies, and directed one step at a time. They manage to evade the traps set for them and reach their first destination.

With the help of the Zimmermans and their neighbor, Zeb Beiler, the two men move to Holmes County, Ohio, where the Amish shelter them. Jim and Monty are now Jacob Zook and Samuel Yoder. They connect with Dr. Abby Weaver, a Mennonite woman, and the Resistance movement. A year goes by, and Jacob knows there’s only one way they can lead a normal life. He and Samuel embark on a journey to face their situation head on. They’ll either succeed or meet their Maker.

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CrossReads Short Takes: Identity Invasion & Mysteries of the Empire with Klaudius & Hektor

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CrossReads Short Takes

Identity Invasion

Identifying Demonic Infiltration of the Soul

by Kathy DeGraw

Identity Invasion

Have you ever wondered how demons can infiltrate a person? Have you felt the presence of evil but have not been able to identify the source? What about the voices you hear in your mind constantly talking to you telling you negative things?

Demons can and do infiltrate our souls and when they are in our soul they can speak to our minds, thoughts such as: “You’re no good,” “No one will love you” “Go kill yourself” “Your not worth anything” and many more.

Through Kathy’s years of experience dealing with the demonic realm she has written this book inspired by the Holy Spirit to help set people free from the voices they hear in their mind.

She has taken special attention and focus to discuss multiple personality disorder, a.k.a., dissociative identity disorder from a biblical standpoint.

Her desire is to educate professionals and ministers in this every important topic in order to bring healing and deliverance to the many people diagnosed with DID.

Kathy has taken the extra effort to explain the biblical truth from a basic standpoint so that secular and christian professionals together can gain a mass understanding on this topic.

She covers biblical teaching, our authority as believers, and explains the realms of spiritual warfare.

This book could challenge your thinking, but will leave you educated and informed on a subject that will go worldwide to bring freedom to a person’s mind that has been held captive for too long.

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Mysteries of the Empire with Klaudius & Hektor

Senegal

by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Mysteries of the Empire with Klaudius & Hektor

Brothers, Klaudius and Hektor have just been kicked out of Rome by Caesar. They remember they have an uncle with a gold mine in Senegal, Africa, and decide to pay him a visit………..Though the brothers are complete opposites and argue half the time, they are expert mystery solvers. This is a light-hearted novel that will tickle your funny bone………..So, come along with Klaudius and Hektor as they encounter pirates, are shipwrecked, escape slavery, crocodiles, guerillas, and do the bidding of the village griot. Oh yes, and talk to giraffes and other animal ancestors at the insistence of the villagers………..Have fun as these two misfits try to fit in and solve mysteries of the empire.

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What I Wish Someone Told Me

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by Suzanne D. Williams

I got it into my head to write fiction one afternoon, and I wish someone had sat me down and given me “the talk.” I’m not sure I would have listened. Anyone enthusiastic about a new project goes deaf, at firstYou know how it is, you become an expert inside of twenty-four hours. But anyhow, looking back at that decision, there are several things I wish I would have known.

Every first-time writer is an idiot.

Honestly, if someone had told me how stupid I was, and I’d approached writing from said position of dumbness, I would have been better off. I wasted so much energy writing slop that, my fresh dedication to it set aside, needed to go in the dustbin. (It has since gone in the dustbin.)

There will always be a time of learning. No one goes from the bottom rung of the ladder to the top overnight (or halfway, whatever. I’m not being conceited). You need to write the slop to find your voice, your genre, and to learn how to write.

If only I’d gone slower and taken my time, I’d have this perfect shelf of books with my name on them. All organized and pretty, with less tattered pages and out-of-print, I-hope-no-one-sees-this editions.

What do you mean “plot?”

No one told me “plot” mattered. I had no instructions on how to plot. The word “outline” was never breathed in my direction. I didn’t know plot could stall, go awry, make rabbit trails, move at different speeds. I’d read lots of books, mind you, yet still, I knew beans about plot. 

Or writing terms. I’d never herd of a protagonist. Or given any thought to writing styles. I didn’t know first person from third. I did have a good handle on punctuation. I was a proofreader for years but knowing commas will not help you write a book.

Books can be looooooong.

I should have known this. I used to love thick books. Now, if a book is only 20-30k, I’m ecstatic. But when I got started, I wrote a lot of stories around 15k and really thought I’d done something amazing. Someone should have mashed me back into my chair and, with a deep voice, warned me that was really only one-quarter of the total length of a novel, if that.

It’s taken me years to learn how to write 40k. I’ve worked hard at scene content, to know what to include. I skipped all over the place in the beginning. I see writers say they have to cut content, and that is like the best joke ever.

Don’t be a lazy writer.

Too many people say to break the rules. But in order to break them, you need to know them. To know them, you have to practice them. Good rulebreaking comes when the rules make sense.

Showing is better than telling. Avoid passive verbs. Don’t overuse “as” and “when.” These and many more serve a purpose, and frankly, the people telling you to break them are usually making an excuse for lazy writing.

Lazy writers rely on editors to fix their mistakes, instead of not making mistakes to start with. Lazy writers don’t think about their writing but put down whatever pops into their head. When most of writing is thinking, planning, squeezing out that one perfect sentence. On a great writing day, I’ve given myself a headache figuring a scene out.

Writing is more about bumps and bruises than it is accolades. Which brings me to my last point.

People can seriously suck.

If I’d known people sucked as much as they do, then I would have squared my shoulders for it a lot sooner. That story I adored, someone thought was “boring.” Another one, the reviewer actually said not to read my book, but instead, she recommended somebody else.

To be a writer, you must have a stiff spine and a good helmet because the darts are going to come. You must know who you are and what you believe and not care two rips what Granny McPherson says about your book. Maybe Granny ate too much garlic and read my book while fighting dyspepsia.

Not that I’m all that, you understand. Yes, writers must be willing to learn and correct their mistakes. On the other hand, so much of what readers say is caca. Knowing that would have saved me a lot of heartache.

In conclusion

Maybe you are that green-faced newbie I was, years ago. I applaud you for your new awesome book thing. At the same time, this is me grabbing you by the shoulders and shaking you so hard your brains rattle. “Are you nuts??”

You will spend hours, days, weeks, months with these fake people, and they won’t cooperate. They will do their own thing, no matter how hard you try to get them to behave. Characters don’t listen to writers. They don’t follow outlines (if you’re into those). They routinely make up their own minds.

When you think you’ve finally got them in line, you’ll release your private, perfect world to the public (or an agent-editor-publisher), and it’ll all go crazy. Before, it was just you and them. Now it’s you and them and other people’s opinions of them. It’s rejection and hair-pulling and defense mode and way too much time counting zeros. It’s talking about yourself in third person, because every writer loves doing that. It’s blurbs (gah!) and marketing and editing and graphic designers and web gurus.

But if you’ll hang in there on this rollercoaster we call writing, the target center of your back, your arms thrown wide, all come-and-get-me, the community of writers is great. And words are addicting. And book boyfriends really are better. And that one five-star review is the best high.

And seeing your name in print really is worth it, despite the mistakes, the I-should-haves. No, the writing won’t get easier, but being you, as a writer, will. I wish someone had told me that. To focus on the reward and less on the risk. Less on the potholes, the twisted ankles, the sprains. And more on who I would be, surrounded by stories I’d created. 

Available August 1, 2019. 

On kindle https://amzn.to/2xDLwgq 

or at other retailers https://books2read.com/u/4je8YZ 

God’s a whole lot bigger than Texas. The final book in the series! 

Welcome to Texas - Cowboys of the Double R

About The Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at twitter.com/SDWAuthor 

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Verse of the Day and Devotion 7/29/2019

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by Bible League International

Verse of the Day and Devotion

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…  – I Timothy 6:18 ESV

Devotion

You’ve been blessed financially. Although you might protest, most people would say that you’re rich. After all, you have everything you need. Indeed, you have more than enough. Instead of living hand to mouth, you store up the excess. Instead of scraping the funds together to pay the bills, you hire someone to pay them for you.

So, given your wealth, what do you do from the biblical point of view? The Apostle Paul has the answer:

First, you make an attitude adjustment. In the previous verse Paul says, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.” (I Timothy 6:17) In other words, don’t be so proud to think that your riches will always be there for you. In and of themselves, riches are uncertain. All it takes is an unexpected stock market crash, a housing collapse, a downturn in the economy, etc., and you’re in trouble. Trust in riches is a poor substitute for trust in God.

Second, you do what our verse for today says you should do:

You do good. That is, you do good with the financial resources you have. Instead of acting like the rich fool who said to himself, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry” (Luke 12:19), you get to work making wise investments that create new products and services, companies, and jobs. You do good by putting your wealth to work in ways that will bless people, including yourself.

You also do good works. You use your wealth to finance endeavors in the not-for-profit world. There are churches that need to be built, missionary endeavors that need to be supplied, Christian schools and colleges that need operating funds, and the list goes on. You make yourself a partner of these worthy endeavors.

And you also share what you have, especially with your fellow believers. Elsewhere Paul says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)

It takes money to expand and enhance the Kingdom of God. You have the money. Start, then, to make the kind of investments that will reward you for all eternity.” (I Timothy 6:19)

Til the Whole World Know

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Stepping Outside Your Box: Writing about a culture different from your own

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by Parker J. Cole

My newest release is called A Bride for Wen Hui. It’s my take and understanding of Chinese culture in the last dynastic rule before the People’s Republic of China came to be. It is during a turbulent time in Chinese history as China began to lose itself to Western powers (U. S., Russia, France, U. K.) and to an old frenemy (Japan).  The dynastic rule of the Qing dynasty, during the 19th century, saw the rise of rebellions, particularly the horrible Taiping Rebellion, which took millions of lives. Natural disasters that destroyed the livelihood of the small farmer, urban overpopulation, wars with foreign powers, and much more upheaval.  

Thoughts about status were being challenged as what went on before could not continue.  

When I thought about writing this book, I didn’t really appreciate the effort it would take to come out of my own understanding of my culture and its worldview to look into another’s. Plus, China has long, and expansive recorded history, dating back thousands of years. Trying to narrow down the culture in a few pages would be extremely difficult but makes for some fascinating reading. 

I narrowed my focus on the women of ancient and imperial China and how their role was understood. My main character, the heroine Li Yuping, is the eldest daughter of a polygamous household. Her father is a man of means, an ambassador with three wives. 

My hero is Chen Wen Hui who is the second son of a silk merchant.  

Chinese cultural aspect of gender and family was heavily influenced by Confucius, a philosopher of ancient China who had the most lasting and devastating impact on China and on Asia itself, reaching over to Korea and Vietnam. As I read about some of his words and sayings, and then saw, through the lens of history, how it impacted an entire country, I thought, “Wow, this man screwed up a lot of people’s lives.” 

You may be surprised to hear me say that because most Westerns have a skewed view of China through media tropes – kung fu movies mostly, with stereotypical roles about Chinese throughout the years in the West. But the man really did. From I could tell, he focused a lot on virtue and his understanding of virtue. It sounds nice but Confucius probably (and let me be clear, I’m not saying I know for sure) had not grasped how sin makes mincemeat out of our own efforts of goodness.  

Confucius advocated familial piety—the idea of extreme loyalty to family. As it related to women, it came down to the Three Obediences: obedience to your father; obedience to your husband, obedience to your sons. Women in China were seen as nonentities. Their place only made better by the shadow of a man.  

I can’t help but think of how Christ said to one disciple, who wanted to follow him after his father died said, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” (Matthew 8) A direct contradiction to familial piety. Even another time, Jesus said in Luke 12, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 

Family is extremely important but Christ is more and who we are in Him. It’s no wonder that as the Chinese government of today tries to suppress religious freedom in China that Christianity in the underground church is exploding. I believe God is using the persecution of Chinese Christians to send them back here to the West to invigorate a numb church. We could certainly use it.  

I went off topic there as I do tend to ramble a bit. Reeling it back in. 

You can’t talk about China without discussing foot-binding so I explore that as well. Every time I looked at the pictures, I can’t fathom how someone could tell generations of women to do this in order to get married or have status or be beautiful. All three even. Yikes, right?  But even within the culture, there were protests against it as I saw in my research. 

Writing outside of your culture can be a bit unnerving. You hope you get it right or that you accurately depict it to the best of your ability. I had practical help from friends both Chinese and non who understood the culture and helped me out. Plus, hours of reading and looking up information.  So here I am, an African American writing about Chinese culture during a time where our countries are at odds…just as they were back in the 19th century. 

Yeah, that’s me all right. 

I encourage any author out there to step outside your box and write at least one book, one poem, one piece about a culture different from your own. It helps in so many ways If you make a mistake, as I am sure I did, at least I did the very best I could. 

Which is all any of us can do, I suppose. 

 Book blurb:

A Bride for Wen Hui

Chen Wen Hui has spent the last six years working hard to become a man of means in order to gain the one woman he has ever loved to be his wife. He is close to succeeding when his business partner charges him to become a proxy husband to the very woman he loves.  

Li Yuping grudgingly accepts her fate that she will marry by proxy a man she has never met until she sees that the proxy husband sent in his stead is none other than the childhood friend she once cared for.  

Will Wen Hui fulfill his duty? Or will he take matters into his own hands and claim the woman who he has always longed for himself? 

About the Author:

Parker J. ColeParker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and beloved dog Sarah.

Visit her site at http://www.ParkerJCole.com

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