Posts tagged ‘Faith’

Sending Spirituality into a Secular World

Sunset at Santa Rosa CreekThe divide between a believer and a non-believer has never been greater in our lifetime. Faith communities are places for us to feel safe and secure among people who share our beliefs. They shelter us away from a world that takes pleasure in challenging our beliefs. What we end up with is isolated communities that separate us from the world we are commissioned to reach out to.

So how does a non-believer full of skepticism and distrust find a way into a relationship with God when our walls of safety prevent them from finding a way in? Can there be a bridge between what is secular and what is Christian safe? In writing Life in Harmony, I hoped it would help non-believers find a way to a relationship with God. One Christian publisher told me Life in Harmony wasn’t Christian enough to be considered Christian Fiction. The book was also seen as too spiritual by traditional publishers. It was caught somewhere in the middle and that is exactly where I am glad the book is.

Christian Fiction’s audience is solely Christian and doesn’t bridge the gap between believer and non-believer. There are certain elements in Christian Fiction that are necessary to satisfy its audience. For a secular world, those elements can be perceived as being sanitized versions of reality.

Life in Harmony, while being filled with spirituality, avoids exclusionary tactics. The couple at the heart of the story demonstrates very little in the way of Christian aspects in much of the book. They are non-believers and non-Christians. They use mild profanity and God’s name is taken in vain in at least once in the book. In addition, sex plays a very important part in the book yet still within the confines of marriage.

These details were included because they are typical aspects of what occurs in our world. I wanted the book to be interesting to the most people possible. When editing the book, we looked for the balance to be as non-offensive to the widest number of people as possible. In making those decisions, wording for religious discussions in the book were specifically selected to be as non-threatening to denominational differences and non-believers as possible.

What I wanted the reader to focus on is the imperfection of the main characters. Kate and Michael are filled with lacking self-worth, skepticism, they frequently argue and show some very unflattering characteristics. I wanted the two of them to feel real and to do that they needed to sound real, talk about real things and do things that real people do. Things that Christian Publishers didn’t think matched what their audience was looking for.

I believe Life in Harmony encourages non-believers to a spiritual life. The book, I hope, demonstrates a God-filled story without hitting the reader over the head with religion. My goal with it is to send spirituality into a secular world and hopefully show a path to God in a non-judgment, non-threatening way.

If you have an avid reader in your life who hasn’t found a relationship with God in their life yet, I encourage you to share Life in Harmony with them.


LIH Cover 2015

Living in the smallest of towns with an array of hippies, farmers and artists, who are as different as they are close, can be taxing enough without the realization that some of Harmony’s residents may not be what they appear. When Michael and Kate uproot their lives in LA after a miscarriage and move to Harmony, CA (Population 18), they had no idea they’d be sharing their home with a spiritual apparition of a four-year-old girl named Ruby. “Life in Harmony” entertains the thought that the trials we face happen for a reason, and sometimes it takes supernatural intervention for us to understand ourselves, our relationships and the world around us.

Life in Harmony is available now from Pangloss Sea. Click one of the links below to purchase the book today!

Amazon Print Edition

Amazon Digital Edition

 


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Being In-Spirit…Being Inspired

Dr. Wayne Dyer said that inspiration comes when we move back in-spirit with a power greater than ourselves. When we let our EGO dictate our life, we Edge God Out and fall out of being in-spirit. Being in-spirit is a significant theme of my novel, Life in Harmony. The theme plays out in the central couple’s return to a more natural setting (God is represented in nature). The theme of being in-spirit is also represented as Kate opens up her acceptance of being one with a heavenly spirit.

When I first began developing the story, it was going to be nothing more than a ghost story but then inspiration took hold of the story and it went further down a path of spirituality than I had originally intended.

I had always been drawn to stories that included God’s use of the supernatural to make his point. The bible is full of God’s direct intervention in the lives of common people. It was an angel that visited both Mary and Joseph separately and told of the baby she was to bear. When you look at the story of Christ’s birth alone, it is filled will God’s divining hand in ensuring things happened as intended. From the use of angels to the wise men, God guided the course of Mary and Joseph’s life in the opening of the gospel story.

Boo RadleyTo Kill A Mockingbird, Shoeless Joe Jackson/Field of Dreams and the movie Grand Canyon are favorites of mine because they dance very close to a divine force watching over us, guiding us, toward a greater goal. Being in-spirit comes in many forms in these titles and it reminds us that God is at work and uses whatever means possible to ensure his “plot” is followed. Whether it’s a stranger on the street or homeless man in Grand Canyon, the angelic Boo Radley in Mockingbird or J.D. Salinger in Shoeless Joe Jackson (character was renamed in Field of Dreams), we are reminded that God works out the details of inspiration in whatever manner necessary.

In Life in Harmony, our main characters, Kate and Michael, are at a crossroads and inspiration gathers like a rolling stone in the beginning of the book. A hand rubbing a back inspires an agreement for a trip. The open road with seemingly endless possibilities leads to a turn off that changes the course of events (pay attention to how the roads in the book come to dead ends and how that plays a part in the journey).

Inspiration comes from our willingness to be joined with a greater power than ourselves. My inspiration to this philosophy came from Dr. Dyer and in my appreciation for use of supernatural elements in the books and movies I mentioned above. Life in Harmony shows what life out of inspiration (not being in-spirit) and in spirit is like.

The term supernatural these days takes on a non-spiritual element and is more aligned with scary elements related commonly to ghosts (another word with more negative connotations than it should have…will save my thoughts on that for later). Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines supernatural as being unable to be explained by science or the laws of nature; relating to… a God.

Being inspired literally means being aroused or imbued with the spirit to do something, by supernatural or divine influence. Life in Harmony is a story inspired by and about being in-spirit with something greater than ourselves.LIH Cover 2015

If you haven’t picked up my novel, Life in Harmony, yet please buy it today (click here for more info).  If you have read it, let me know what you thought. I hope you find it inspiring. Dyer Book

An additional resource for inspiration is the Dr. Wayne Dyer book Inspiration: Your Ultimate Call. I was saddened by his death earlier this year as his books and lectures changed my focus in life. I will always be grateful for his inspiring me to get back to what my Spirit wanted from me – to write.

 

Buy the Book!

Today is the day! My novel, Life in Harmony, is finally available! You can order a copy by clicking one of these links:

For those of you not familiar with the book’s story, the book is one woman’s spiritual journey as she copes with loss in her life. She is at a point in her life where she has to cope with the death of her mother and a miscarriage at the same time. On top of that she is debating whether staying with her husband is the best choice for her. In short, she is lost.LIH Cover 2015

Too many people are often unsure about the direction of their life and can’t seem to find what matters. In our modern age, religion has less of a focus for too many. Too often parents decide that God and religion aren’t important. Some even go so far to say they will let their children decide on religion when they are old enough to do so. For most, religion has become a politicized and complicated subject. Often our churches don’t make it any easier on those non-practicing.

An individual relation with God is isn’t really  as complicated as religion makes it. In fact, it is what’s missing from too many lives. When you don’t believe in a Creator/God who has a masterful plan, you are left without hope. Without hope there is a void in your life that too often gets filled with vices that thinly veil that void but for only short time.

Life in Harmony tells Kate’s special story. Sometimes God uses supernatural intervention to bring his lost sheep back to the flock.  This book takes a very soft approach toward bringing people closer to God without hitting them over the head with it. It is my hope that the book’s non-threatening approach to God through spirituality will open some hearts toward having God in their life and how that connection brings a new awareness to what life is really all about.

When life seems to be handing you nothing but loss, take the most unexpected turn to “Life in Harmony.” 

I hope you will do me the honor of buying Life in Harmony today. I think you will find it a good story with a great message. Perhaps you could buy a copy for a friend who is missing out on having God in their life.

I plan on spending the next 10 weeks doing a Blog Blitz here covering themes and ideas presented in the book. Subscribe at the top right to stay informed as I share my insight from the book.

The Albatross Necktie

Close-up of Claucasian mid-adult man straightening necktie.I know it’s been two years and just when you think I’ve given it all up… I’m back!

The truth is this has been a long time in coming. Raising a family leads to making decisions that you insist you would never have to make, but do because what you want rides secondary to what responsibility holds. All during the past two years, I have had the publication of “Life in Harmony” hanging around my neck like an albatross necktie. I know that term is incredibly negative and in reality it’s not entirely the way it sounds. Has it been choking me with reminders of what should be? Absolutely! Sometimes we need those gnawing reminders to eat at us so we don’t forget about what lies deep inside us still yearning to get out.

Certainly, the daily grind of life and responsibility can weigh us down. It detracts you from affording the mental capacity of personal goals. Don’t get me wrong. I love my children and wouldn’t change my life with them for anything. No one tells you in person or in any parenting books the level of sacrifices you will make to show your children love. With them as my priority, most of my writing efforts in the last two years have been dedicated what has become known in our house as the annual “Summer Binders” (Books that guide my boys through their summer months in productive ways …more on that at another date).

The truth is I wouldn’t allow myself to work on anything else because of that albatross I wore as a reminder of something left unfinished. I knew what I needed to do to get “Life in Harmony” to publication but didn’t have the time or mental capacity to see it through except on vacations from the Monday-Friday, bill-paying job. And while sparks of creativity would tempt me into writing something else, I refused out of guilt. I needed to see this through to the end first. So I wore “Life in Harmony” around my neck not doing much else with writing because if there was time to write, it should be used to get the book into print.

So slowly but surely I built the bridge to this very personal goal one stone at a time. Finally, the bridge looks LIH Cover 2015complete and the necktie is coming off. “Life in Harmony” is finally ready for its close-up.

What has emerged is a good story that I hope others will enjoy. In working with my new incarnation through Pangloss Sea Books, “Life in Harmony” will hopefully be a new start for a new way of publishing and marketing books. The book will enjoy a soft release this holiday season. A soft release is a slow release where we can hopefully build an audience for an eventual larger release sometime next year.

For the few of you who are reading this I thank you. You can expect more consistent posts in the next few weeks. That necktie is now cast off and I am ready for what comes next. Look for this blog to take a strong turn toward positive story-telling with a new emphasis on “Stories that Inspire!”

No Matter What You Believe… You Gotta have Faith!

Faith is an interesting thing. It’s one of those things that’s hard to describe to a kid or even an adult. How do you define what faith is for you? It’s not always easily put into words. Yet it’s something we use everyday. We have faith that our car will stop when we press on the brake. We have faith in our spouse that they won’t cheat. We have faith that the breeze we feel is really just the wind and not that of a spirit or vice versa.

In Life in Harmony, faith is a major theme. In the story, we get as varied of opinions on faith as we do in real life. People (based on their degrees of faith) handle situations, particularly losses, differently.  Here is how I detail the faith theme in the story:Life in Harmony

It (faith) is our choice as to whether we believe in divine intervention or simple coincidence. Not everyone believes in the miracles they witness. Those who choose faith see the circumstances all the clearer and experience a divine harmony in their relationship with God and the people in their lives.  

I think that pretty much sums up what the religious faithful gain from putting their faith in God. It’s something those against religion don’t have going for them.

What are your views on faith? Have you ever thought about the similarities between your faith in science and a faith in religion? Share your comments below.

The novel, Life in Harmony, will be published in 2013. If you are interested in reading more about the forthcoming book subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive e-mail updates every time there is something to share.

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