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And Now, For a Word From Our Sponsor

I’m taking a short break from discussing the essential teachings of Jesus of Nazareth for this message from your sponsor.

This holiday season if you are looking for an action packed thriller for the man on your gift list who likes books by Ted Dekker or Frank Peretti, then check out my two books in the Jonathan Steel Chronicles. The first book is “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye” and is followed immediately by the second book, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon”.

Jonathan Steel is a Christian version of Jason Bourne afflicted with amnesia yet having skills like an assassin or a mercenary. His one memory is of the day he became a Christian and this memory sits at odds with his nature. He wants to recover his lost life and find out why he seems to be at such odds with himself. In the stories, Steel comes up against some very evil human beings in league with demons from a “Council of Darkness”. The council is charged with carrying out the plans of Lucifer to destroy humanity and claim their souls. Steel ends up being the man in the Council’s path

Note that the numbers of the demons are in descending order. They get more powerful the closer we get to the number ONE demon. The 13th demon is the first book; the 12th demon the second, etc. You can check out the review page for discussions of my books.

Also, if you have a teenager who likes Twilight or Hunger Games, they will like these books. One of the major characters is a teenager named Josh who ends up fighting demons alongside Steel, much to Steel’s dismay. Let’s just say they don’t get along very well.

Each book also features strong female characters and a hint of romance. My sisters LOVE Jonathan Steel and want to read more of the book, so if you like thriller type romance novels, this book is for you.

 

Now, if you or someone you love is suffering from depression this holiday season, check out Conquering Depression: A 30 Day Plan for Finding Happiness”. This book has had an amazing history and continues to help people literally around the world. My co-author, Mark Sutton and I still get emails weekly from people who say the book “saved my life”. It is an easy to read introduction to begin the process of conquering depression in your life. Each chapter is a “day” in the 30 day plan. You take it in small, gradual doses and the LifeFilter cards in the back are there to give you a daily tool. We highly recommend the book and it continues to help those who suffer from depression or who have friends or family who suffer from depression.

 

Now, that’s it! No more commercials. Come back in the next two days for more posts leading up to Christmas.

Don’t You Want To Thank Someone?

There was an empty chair at the table this Thanksgiving.

My father passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 98. Even though he had been living in the nursing home for the past three years, I always brought him home for the holidays. Every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Fourth of July, my father would sit at the head of our table. And, always, he would lead us in prayer and sing us a song or two.

My father’s singing idols were Tennessee Ernie Ford and George Beverly Shea. Although his voice was weaker and weaker as he aged, when he switched to his singing mode, from somewhere deep within this clear, deep, resonant voice would boom out a song in perfect pitch.

And so, this year, more than any other, I am thankful for my father. His absence has made me realize how much I came to depend on hearing that voice raised in song. “Don’t you want to thank someone?” is a more than just a question. It is a song written and sung by Andrew Peterson. The last song on his newest release, “Light for the lost boy”, this song brought tears to my eyes just a few weeks before my father’s death.

I used to be a little boy

As golden as a sunrise

Breaking over Illinois

When the corn was tall

 

Yeah, but every little boy grows up

And he’s haunted by the heart that died

Longing for the world that was

Before the Fall

 

Oh, but then forgiveness comes

A grace that I cannot resist

And I just want to thank someone

I just want to thank someone for this

 

Those are just a few words from this incredible song. I did not grow up in Illinois, but the corn grew tall in my father’s garden here in Louisiana and one dark day atop the tall tree I realized the world was broken and no longer the glowing, innocent thing I had lived in for my first ten years. It was atop that tree, above the vampires that lurked in the dark shadows and the werewolves with glowing yellow eyes that waited for me in the blackberry bushes and the myriad monsters of my imagination that my fear of the worlds I had only until then imagined became the beasts of approaching adulthood. Just as real. Just as dangerous. Just as deadly.

I write about vampires and werewolves and creatures in the dark because we live in a broken, fallen world. We try desperately to understand it and to dissect it and to equate it and to reduce it to laws and axioms that fit neatly into a science textbook. Equations we can control. With them we hope to tame the beasts but to no avail. Rather, it takes imagination.

During a midnight walk, J. R. R. Tolkien told C. S. Lewis that his atheism was no more than a lack of imagination. Here are some other words from this incredible song:

Now I can see the world is charged

It’s glimmering with promises

Written in a script of stars

Dripping from prophets’ lips

 

But still, my thirst is never slaked

I am hounded by a restlessness

Eaten by this endless ache

But still I will give thanks for this

 

‘Cause I can see it in the seas of wheat

I can feel it when the horses run

It’s howling in the snowy peaks

It’s blazing in the midnight sun

 

Just behind a veil of wind

A million angels waiting in the wings

A swirling storm of cherubim

Making ready for the Reckoning

 

Oh, how long, how long?

Oh, sing on, sing on

 

And when the world is new again

And the children of the King

Are ancient in their youth again

Maybe it’s a better thing

A better thing

 

To be more than merely innocent

But to be broken then redeemed by love

Maybe this old world is bent

But it’s waking up

And I’m waking up

 

‘Cause I can hear the voice of one

He’s crying in the wilderness

“Make ready for the Kingdom Come”

Don’t you want to thank someone for this?

 

I am so thankful for the power of my imagination to open up the doorways of my heart and mind to the REALITY of God! I am so thankful my silent companion standing in the gap between my soul and the monsters of my brokenness is real and loving and forgiving and the author and finisher of this universe. I am so thankful for the times of failure and faithlessness and doubt so that I could search those shadows again and find Him waiting there right where I left Him. I am so thankful my father showed me the love of God! I am thankful for each and every reader that has trusted me to fill a book with words that are more than echoes of futility. Rather, they are words that lead slowly but inexorably to the Word, the Logos, the One who became flesh. And, for that, I am thankful.

Look around you in the aftermath of this hectic and busy season of empty thanks and muted praise and awkward family gatherings and frantic hours of shopping. Stop and look into the shadows. There may be beasts among us, and I am sure there are. But, there is a quiet, abiding companion following, following and watching over us. My father sang of this companion in his powerful voice. He sang of a Father that is greater than any earthly father could ever be. A Father who sits at our table; who sings the story of our lives into being; who longs to love us and redeem us and hold us in his arms. Think on this with an imagination that is a poor reflection of the image of God and you will find in your heart and in your soul the need to thank Someone!

Vampires, Zombies, and Werewolves, Oh My!

Humans are fascinated with the undead — vampires, zombies, and werewolves.

“The Walking Dead” and “Twilight”. I am asked this question often in interviews about my book, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon”. Why are we so fascinated with vampires and zombies?

We are fascinated with the undead because we have lost that connection with the divine and the eternal in our culture. In Ecclesiastes, we find a verse that says “God has put eternity in the hearts of all men”. But, our culture no longer accepts organized religion and has pushed God out of the Creator seat and replaced Him with Chance and Scientism. Without without the connection with the divine in our culture, we fill this spiritual void with a poor substitute.

In my book, “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” I use the context of our fascination with vampires, werewolves, and the undead to reconnect you with the truth that we have eternal souls and we long to connect to our Creator. You see, our “postmodern” culture claims there is no “metanarrative”; no “Big Picture”, no Story in which we play a role. But, Ravi Zacharias says that whatever we believe should answer 4 questions:

How Did I Get Here? — Origins

Why am I Here? — Meaning

How Should I live? — Morality

What Happens when I die? — Destiny

For centuries we here in America have lived according to the Christian “worldview” that there is a Creator with a purpose for creation; for our universe; for our world; for each of us. But, in the last fifty years, our culture has moved towards “naturalism” — the idea that there is no supernatural realm; that we are here purely by chance. When you die, you rot — end of story. Have a nice day.

Once we pushed God out of the creator seat and replaced Him with Chance and Random Processes — our answer to that last question went away. There is no “Destiny”.   We have hidden the Story behind a veil of denial. And yet, each human being longs for the divine; seeks the eternal.

And so, we long for destiny; what lies beyond this realm of existence. We sense there is more to life than just living and dying. And, if you have removed the rational foundation for belief in God, all that is left us is science. Science, or naturalism, tells us we are nothing more than DNA and biochemistry. So, science doesn’t answer the question. And, without God and religion, we turn to fiction; we turn to tales and myths and legends of the undead. Thus, our culture has become fascinated with death — specifically what happens after we die.

Ironically, in denying the truth of God; disallowing anything supernatural; we end up embracing fictional and mythical concepts and ideas that are far more wanky and bizarre than belief in the God of the Bible. As the famous author and apologist G. K. Chesterton wrote: “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing — they believe in anything.”

FREE copy of “The 13th Demon”!

On October 16, 2012 the vampires arrive!

“The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” will be available on that date. But, you may not know much about Jonathan Steel or his encounter with “The 13th Demon”. So, I am going to put some of my promotional copies of “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye” to good use. I have a limited amount of copies and I will send you a copy for FREE! No strings attached. I will NOT use your contact information for anything but to mail you a signed copy of “The 13th Demon: Altar of the Spiral Eye”.

All you have to do is to fill out this form and send me your mailing address. I will send you a copy of the book as long as my copies last. All I ask is that if you like the first book, on October 16th buy the second book! I’d love to see “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” hit the best seller list and prove that Christian fiction is for real. This book is an alternate view of vampires and is different from any previously published view that I am aware of. It is an inspirational answer to the Twilight series, the vampire diaries, and so on.

So, let me hear from you and see if you can get your hands on a FREE copy of the first book in the Jonathan Steel Chronicles.

There is Power in the Blood!

There is Power in the Blood!

Power to make a man Undead!

Power to build an Army of Monsters!

Power to unleash Vampire Majick!

 

But, there is also Power in the Blood:

Power to Forgive

Power to Redeem

And, Power to Save!

Join Jonathan Steel as he battles the 12th Demon in a battle between the power of Unnatural Blood and the Power of The Blood that Redeems! It is a battle that has raged for millennia; a battle to unleash an army of monsters on the unsuspecting world; a battle between the ultimate forces of good and evil.

 

Can Jonathan Steel save Josh Knight from the Vampire’s Feast?

Can Jonathan Steel elude the deadly attacks of the assassin, Raven?

Can Jonathan Steel defeat Vivian Ketrick and Rudolph Wulf, the “12th Demon”?

 

Find out in “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon” available now for pre-order and in stores on October 16, 2012.

 

The Event is coming and soon, we will face an army of Undead!

Unleash the Power of the Blood!

 “The 12th Demon: Mark of the Wolf Dragon”

International Christian Retailers Show Weekend

This weekend I am flying down to Orlando. Again.

I visit Orlando, Florida about six times a year. First, there is Walt Disney World which I visit about four times a year. Second, there is my co-author, best friend, and former pastor Mark Sutton who is now involved in his own ministry to Haiti (link). Third, my publisher, Charisma Media is in Sanford, Florida just north of Orlando and I like to visit them once or twice a year. It’s good to put a face to the name and it is good to get a feel of the organization for which you write. And, the people at Charisma are outstanding!

But, this trip is special. I will be attending the International Christian Retail Show. What is that? Here is a description from their website:

The International Christian Retail Show is where the Christian resources industry meets – and there are a lot of reasons why. There is no other time or place where so many people, products, services, media, authors, artists, and craftspeople are gathered together in one place.

To say this gathering is awe inspiring, daunting, and,  yes, exhausting is an understatement. Exhibit after exhibit from all kinds of publishers, retailers, marketers fill the Orange County Exhibit Center and it will take three days to see everything. But, what I really love about this gathering is the chance to see and hear new media. Concerts and film showings will go on the entire time. My wife and I were fortunate to attend the 2008 gathering and we were stunned to hear a concert one evening that featured Jeremy Camp, The Annie Moses Band, Nicole Mullen, Natalie Grant, and others. All in one concert!!! I can’t wait to see what is in store this year.

So, join me each day beginning Sunday for a report from the exhibit floor of the International Christian Retail Show and I’ll tell YOU what to expect in the music and book stores this fall!

UPDATE

If you happen to get your hands on the ICRS magazine for July look on page 72! Awesome ad!

If you want to get in touch with me, I’ll be on the exhibit floor Monday and Tuesday. Just use the contact button to send me an email, a test message, or give me a call.

Get one of my cards:

12-Postcard

See you there!!!!

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