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A Desperate Plea!

loneliness_by_mehrdadart

I am giving my last radio interview today on “Violent Video Games and their relationship to Teenage Violence”. And, as has happened to me before, several seemingly totally unrelated events have come together to put all of the past few weeks into perspective.

Yesterday, I reviewed “The Little Seer” for an new author, Laura Cowan. I wondered why God had placed this “divine” appointment in my path when I was already so busy with building a platform for my books and attending the PLATFORM conference. One of my takeaways from the book was the realization of how evil can destroy a life. How the enemy uses his minions to target a person, in this case the character of Tara and not only destroy other people through that person, but destroy the person in the process. I write about demons and spiritual warfare. And, in the years since I have started to do this, I have had personal attacks directed against me by forces of evil. Some of them I have recounted in past blog posts, such as the Devil house in Austin.

Now, let me take you in a lateral move to violent video games. When I started researching the effect of our current culture on young adults way back in May, 2012 as preparation for my update to our Conquering Depression book, I had no idea I would be studying violent video games. My son, Sean, is an avid game player. I have posted his comments on this phenomenon in the past few weeks and I urge the reader to review those posts. Sean began playing video games at an early age on my Commodore 128 computer. Last week, while attending the PLATFORM conference in Nashville, Sean and I had a great time together. On our last day together before I took him to the airport to fly back to his lovely wife in Austin, we stopped off at one of favorite haunts, Best Buy. There is nothing quite like geeking out with your son at Best Buy! As we walked through the door we entered the first “zone” and it was video games. Sean paused, looked around and made an amazing statement. “This used to be my area.”

Used to be? I looked at him in amazement. He went on to say he had practically given up playing video games, specifically violent first person shooter games in the weeks since he and I started talking about this phenomenon. Wow! I was impressed. Let me say this again. The boy has been playing video games his entire life — heavily immersed in video games — hours on end — online with his friends! And now, he has practically given them up! This was a stunning revelation to me. Why? He was tired of the only option for advancing a story — to kill or be killed. There is more to a story than this. There is more to life than this!

Yesterday at dinner, I sat across from my daughter, Casey. She is 25 and is still living at home battling epilepsy and migraines. She has suffered from seizures since age 8 and the story of her life is one of heroism and defiance to this horrific disease. She is one of the strongest people I know on the face of this planet. Recently, we have discovered that her seizures are migraine auras. We are changing out her medication completely. This has left her on an emotional roller coaster as she weans herself off of one drug and onto another. As a consequence, Casey has led a very sheltered life. And now, most of her friends are online — girls in distant parts of the country. Yesterday, I saw in her a deep oppression, a deep depression, a weight of worry and anxiety unlike anything she has faced. Instead of her online friends encouraging her and helping to build her up, these girls are sucking the very life out of her. Surrounded by needy, emotionally labile friends, Casey is desperately trying to please her friends; to help her friends; to encourage her friends. Only the energy is flowing in one direction — over the wifi into the world of ether and faceless “friends” leaving her listless and emotional empty.

This is the bane of their generation. They cannot exist without the internet and yet, all human relations become virtual. There is a danger of becoming isolated and disconnected from real people and, reality. This is the danger of addictive video games, as I have said in my interviews. This is the danger to this generation; a loss of interpersonal relational skills; a deepening, oppressive, paralyzing isolation into a totally self centered world where the greatest danger is becoming your own god.

Last night all of this came together in a sudden and shocking realization. Was Casey like Tara in “The Little Seer”? More specifically, was she like Aria, the main character? Isolated and alone at the hands of jealous, evil oppressed “friends” and not realizing her own special beauty as a “daughter of God”? I gasped as the realization settled in. Thank you Laura for writing your book! Thank you God for giving me insight and discernment.

For you see, my son has been under oppression for years with the evil that naturally resides in the the story of these video games. It had effected him and held him back from a healthy relationship with God. And, now, this is happening to my daughter! I immediately called my wife this morning and we are going to pray for Casey; pray with Casey; bind up the evil forces around her; and help her see that she is a beautiful, radiant daughter of God; meant for happiness and joy; meant for a life filled with light and love; meant to be so much more than the punching bag for a bunch of selfish, anonymous souls suffering in solitude on the internet.

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So, here it is in a nutshell. We live in a world full of evil. It is growing in influence and power every day. It’s greatest ally is our isolation and loneliness. For in our solitude, we risk the danger of becoming our own god. But, there is light in the world. Satan is already defeated and God is waiting right where we left Him. He can deliver us out of this solitude by showing us that we are never alone; we are created in His image — an image of love and laughter and creativity and community and joy. Pray for my children. A selfish request on my part. Pray for your own children as they struggle in this world that is increasingly hostile to God. Be a part of their lives. If you are a young adult, seek the company of others — find real community and stop getting pulled into the false reality of video games that are just that — games. Know when to turn off the console and walk outside into the real world and look around. When you do, you will SEE GOD!!!!!

 

joy

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The Little Seer Blog Tour Day 2

“God seals men’s instructions while they sleep; you don’t need to figure everything out. God can speak straight to your spirit and tell you what to do, even when you don’t understand his words.”

This sage advice from a mother to her young daughter is at the heart of that child’s dilemma in “The Little Seer” by Laura Cowan. Aria is having dreams, sometimes in the middle of the day! In her dreams horrible things are happening around her particularly at her church. In one dream, she is attacked by birds and upon opening her eyes finds her arms and wrists covered with cuts! Soon, her classmates at school are making fun of her and adults are whispering about her parents behind their backs. The world seems to have turned against poor, little Aria.

“Why am I seeing demons in my own house, and why are my friends being so mean?”

Aria finds an ally in Mrs. Coghill who tells her she is a prophet with these soothing words, “The gift of prophecy just means your ear is tuned to hear God’s voice.”

Pastor Ted of the local church is at the center of Aria’s dreams. Soon, he is accused of embezzlement and Aria’s father, the church treasurer finds himself wrapped in false accusations as Pastor Ted pulls the church members into his evil clutches. Aria begins to see demons all around her, and one of them has its arms wrapped around Pastor Ted’s neck! And, it is during this encounter that Aria finally sees her salvation — a guardian angel!

The story has three specific events, each building on the one before as Aria grows in her awareness of God and His presence and plans for her life. I don’t want to give away too much of the story, but it is fast paced and filled with downright creepy elements of demonic presences and spiritual warfare. Well done, I might add!

I have read the Twilight series and the Hunger Game series and this book easily approaches that level of intensity and immersion in teen angst in a GOOD way. It brought back many memories of a nerdy boy growing up with those who made fun of me and looked down on me. I highly recommend the book for any middle schooler or high schooler and it is a wonderful book for parents and adults to read.

I particularly like how Laura took something some benign seeming and made it the enemy. I don’t want to give this away but it is right on the money in today’s culture.

The dream sequences are moving and lyrical with an artistic sense of being transported to another world. I have often felt that God communicates to us in our dreams and this story really nails it. There is a particularly moving scene between Aria and Christ that I can not possibly describe. It must be read and enjoyed. Laura has captured the essence of being in the presence of God; the presence of Christ; the presence of the Spirit in a close and moving way. I read each of these passages and breathed deeply of the moving presence of God I sensed behind the words.

The sense of dread and anxiety also built as the climax of the story approached and the author managed to keep the stakes high, the tension tight, and the threat of evil very, very real.

I am reminded of a song written by Andrew Peterson, “The Voice of Jesus”. It is a song written for his little girl and it talks of wandering the woods and hearing “the voice of a secret companion” following and protecting the child. That “secret companion” is the presence of our Triune God always just beyond our full comprehension but still there waiting for us to turn to Him. Laura captures this feeling in every encounter between Aria and our Creator. Wonderful, moving work. I highly recommend this book for anyone who seeks to learn more of the nature of the spiritual war that wages around us. Here are the links to the book and author’s website. The first link is a link to a giveaway so check it out. http://laurakcowan.com/2013/02/17/welcome-to-the-little-seer-blog-tour-and-giveaway/

Great job, Laura. You have a very promising future and I can’t wait to read your next work.

Information about Laura:

Laura K. Cowan, The Dreaming Novelist, writes spiritual supernatural stories set against rich dreamscapes. A lifelong dreamer and modern Christian mystic, Laura draws from subconscious depths to bring the things we believe are impossible, spiritually and physically, into the world in a literal way, to bring the supernatural into the natural and help others come to see their infinite worth and the exquisite possibilities that exist in a world in which the supernatural is part of the natural order of things.

Laura has worked for years as an accomplished writer and editor in genres such as green tech, green parenting, and automotive media, and has been called one of the best copy editors in the business by multiple colleagues, including late mentor David E. Davis, Jr., whom TIME Magazine called “the Dean of Automotive Journalism.” She is the founder of popular green parenting blog 29 Diapers, author of Ecofrugal Baby: How To Save 70% Off Baby’s First Year, and Road Test Editor for Inhabitat, the web’s largest green design blog. Laura’s work has appeared in Automobile Quarterly as well as on numerous parenting sites including BabyCenter, EcoMom, and Inhabitots. She lives in Michigan with her husband and her 3-year-old daughter. You can find her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, or email her at laurakcowan[at]gmail.com.

Links:

Laura K. Cowan’s website: http://www.laurakcowan.com

Laura K. Cowan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurakcowannovelist?ref=ts&fref=ts

Laura K. Cowan on Twitter: @laurakcowan

The Little Seer on Amazon:

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Seer-Laura-Cowan/dp/1482500825/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360722609&sr=8-1&keywords=the+little+seer

Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEZKU3C/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360722931&sr=1-2&keywords=the+little+seer

Exodus ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Exodus-The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEYX7N8/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360723388&sr=1-8&keywords=the+little+seer

Desert ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Desert-The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEZPWYO/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360723388&sr=1-9&keywords=the+little+seer

Midnight ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEYX2NI/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360723388&sr=1-7&keywords=the+little+seer

The Little Seer Blog Tour Day 1

SEER FINAL V 2013-FrontToday is the first day of a two day blog tour featuring a new book by Laura K. Cowan

Today, I will share Laura’s answers to questions about her book and tomorrow, I will feature a review of the book and more tidbits.

Inside The Making of The Little Seer, a Speculative Supernatural Novel

By Laura K. Cowan, author of The Little Seer

 

People often ask me how I wrote a novel about the supernatural and prophetic dreams. The answer? Well, come peek over my shoulder a bit to see. What went into the making of The Little Seer was nothing short of supernatural itself, and I’m not talking about my effort, though that was pretty intense.

Where Did The Idea for The Little Seer Come From?

I was bullied for years as a kid, and a journal entry I wrote about wanting people to love me for who I was was actually read in front of my seventh grade class and ridiculed, so suffice it to say I had some fear to work through before even being able to get back to writing as an adult. Putting my writing out there for people to judge? Yeah, terrifying. You can read more about my miraculous journey back to health in my full bio on my blog, but long story short: when my daughter was born, I realized I wanted to write an imaginative adventure story for her like the ones I had loved as a child, but one that also acknowledged the pain suffered by people who don’t fit the mold–whether in church, school, or society in general. I had been through a painful church split on top of my wedding that destroyed my faith community as well. But I had also experienced the most miraculous moments of my life after these devastating events, including being healed from an incurable disease through prayer, so I wanted to explore the role that rejection and other painful life experiences play in our paths to healing and life. The result was a story that was a little more grown up than I had originally planned, I suppose just because the reality of the conflict over our souls is pretty intense stuff.

Is The Little Seer Inspired By Your Life Experiences?

Inspired, yes, but The Little Seer is not my story. Yes, I went through the disillusion of seeing people who were my spiritual mentors behaving badly and discovering that the church I was raised in couldn’t answer some of my most pressing questions about life and faith, and yes I even had prophetic dreams about the event that helped me through a difficult time, but Aria’s story is very different from mine. One of my concerns about this story is that people will assume that the people I knew as a kid are as badly behaved as some of the characters in The Little Seer. None of these characters is meant to portray anyone I went to church or school with, so please don’t interrogate my friends and acquaintances and ask them if they ever tried to destroy my life! 🙂

How On Earth Did You Come Up With Those Dream Sequences?

Would you believe that my own dreams are weirder than Aria’s, and more complicated? Maybe lots of people’s are, but mine seem to be particularly intense, and I think that’s the reason I don’t believe you can thoroughly understand someone from their waking life alone. When I wrote the dream sequences for The Little Seer, I took a symbol from one of my own dreams that had some significance for me, such as tornados or bears, and then wove it into a fresh dream from Aria’s perspective. There is a whole different level on which you can read The Little Seer, by following colors and nature symbols through the story to find foreshadowing of their significance in her discoveries about her identity. If you like the book, read it twice and look at colors, plants, water, weather, and the rustle of angels’ wings the second time, and I think you’ll begin to experience the story on the level that I do.

Can We See What You’re Working on Next?

I’m working on a novel called Music of Sacred Lakes that explores the relationship between a person and the land that gave birth to them. I’m excited about this book, because it explores how some of the worst things we do can lead to our redemption and our reconnection with creation. My protagonist, a young man in crisis from northern Michigan who accidentally kills a girl, struggles to find his way back to his connection with life through living by the shores of Lake Michigan and trying to hear its voice. He is haunted by the dead girl in a series of terrifying encounters, but in the end, this horror is what leads him to peace. It’s a weird and wonderful story, and I hope I can do it justice. I will begin my second round of writing and editing in the next few weeks, and as soon as I have something that’s ready to share, you can find excerpts from the work in progress on laurakcowan.com. I’m also working on a speculative supernatural short story collection called The Thin Places: Supernatural Tales of the Unseen, which takes 30 different “What if?” questions about the way the spiritual world works, and spins them in all directions, from modern mythology to the marriage of fairy tales and time travel. I’m pretty excited about where these next few years will lead, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride. My rule is no boring stories, and I hope you like what I come up with.

 

Laura K. Cowan, The Dreaming Novelist, writes spiritual supernatural stories set against rich dreamscapes. A lifelong dreamer and modern Christian mystic, Laura draws from subconscious depths to bring the things we believe are impossible, spiritually and physically, into the world in a literal way, to bring the supernatural into the natural and help others come to see their infinite worth and the exquisite possibilities that exist in a world in which the supernatural is part of the natural order of things.

Laura has worked for years as an accomplished writer and editor in genres such as green tech, green parenting, and automotive media, and has been called one of the best copy editors in the business by multiple colleagues, including late mentor David E. Davis, Jr., whom TIME Magazine called “the Dean of Automotive Journalism.” She is the founder of popular green parenting blog 29 Diapers, author of Ecofrugal Baby: How To Save 70% Off Baby’s First Year, and Road Test Editor for Inhabitat, the web’s largest green design blog. Laura’s work has appeared in Automobile Quarterly as well as on numerous parenting sites including BabyCenter, EcoMom, and Inhabitots. She lives in Michigan with her husband and her 3-year-old daughter. You can find her on Twitter, connect with her on LinkedIn, or email her at laurakcowan[at]gmail.com.

Links:

Laura K. Cowan’s website: http://www.laurakcowan.com

Laura K. Cowan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/laurakcowannovelist?ref=ts&fref=ts

Laura K. Cowan on Twitter: @laurakcowan

The Little Seer on Amazon:

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Seer-Laura-Cowan/dp/1482500825/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360722609&sr=8-1&keywords=the+little+seer

 

Ebook: http://www.amazon.com/The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEZKU3C/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360722931&sr=1-2&keywords=the+little+seer

 

Exodus ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Exodus-The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEYX7N8/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360723388&sr=1-8&keywords=the+little+seer

 

Desert ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Desert-The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEZPWYO/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360723388&sr=1-9&keywords=the+little+seer

 

Midnight ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Midnight-The-Little-Seer-ebook/dp/B00BEYX2NI/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360723388&sr=1-7&keywords=the+little+seer

 

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