Christian fiction is ministry.
Christian fiction is business.
We heard both at the recent American Christian Fiction Writers conference in St. Louis, Missouri. As I wrote on another blog, the conference was bathed in prayer both before and during. We had wonderful times of worship, aspiring writers and published authors side by side, working together to advance the Kingdom of God.
On our recent cruise in Alaska I took a dozen books. My luggage didn’t know the difference since they all fit into a space no larger than my cell phone. Ah, technology! I don’t need to own a Kindle or a Nook—just agree to pay a whopping monthly data fee for my smart phone. Sigh.
One of the books I read sitting by the pool while the mountains of the inner passage slid by my vision was Cynthia Ruchtie’s They Almost Always Come Home. The strong, irreverent voice of a woman who “would leave her husband if she could find him” draws the reader in immediately.
What better way for my husband to recuperate from his heart attack than a cruise to Alaska? Actually, we had been planning last week’s trip for some time, and it almost had to be cancelled for rehab. We skipped Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, flew to Seattle instead of driving, and my husband promised to work out regularly in the ship’s gym. Permission granted!
Alaska is fabulous even in the rain—rugged mountains, spell-binding glaciers, forests dripping with moss and waterfalls at every turn. I broke in my new camera, trying to learn how to use a few of its many features. The song that kept going through my head was the old Swedish hymn, "How Great Thou Art."
Those of us who gre up in the United States all know the first verse of "America, the Beautiful", which tells of the physical beauties of this land from amber waves of grain to purple mountain majesties. But the powerful words of some of the other verses speak of spiritual qualities that Americans traditionally valued.
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
This week we have been watching the progress of Hurricane Irene and praying for friends and loved ones on the east coast of North America.
In our corner of the Northwoods we had our own storm the first of July. It wasn’t a tornado—all the trees fell from west to east—but there were a lot of them. We lost seventeen on our lakeside property. Some of our neighbors lost many more. In some places acres of forest have had to be completely cleared because of a tangle that reminded me of the game of Pick Up Sticks we played when I was a kid.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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