Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An Eerie Read...

Halloween. Time for ghosts, goblins, princesses, pirates, witches, warlocks, and…demons? From a Christian novelist?

Author Tosca Lee says, yes, demons exist. “On the earth. In the air. In the heavens.” It’s that belief that caused Lee to pen the sleeper hit, Demon: A Memoir, an appropriate read for the spooky season.

The book’s Amazon rank across all Christian fiction recently hit the top 25 and her writing has drawn comparisons to the great C.S. Lewis work The Screwtape Letters as well as Anne Rice’s work Interview with the Vampire. The Smith College graduate has criss-crossed the country on a whirlwind book tour in such cities as Boston, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Omaha, Detroit, and her home city of Lincoln.

But, just as the holiday itself draws criticism from Christians, Lee has had to handle critical response from the faith-based community questioning her beliefs. One church deemed the book “inappropriate” reading. Some even wondered if she’d communed with demons to write the eerie manuscript.

“No, I’ve never had a direct personal experience with an angel or demon,” Lee laughs. “Not in the visceral way that others describe. Thank God. I think I would have a heart attack.” She did, however, endure some strange encounters.

“Things broke down in my brand new house. Mice infested it. The water turned blue. Smoke came out of my dishwasher. Granted, these were petty and stupid happenings that made me roll my eyes.”

Then, it got even more strange.

“My computer’s motherboard fried—I could smell it burning. I became more prone to anxiety attacks. My new laptop began to blank out in the middle of working on the story before I had saved anything. I was constantly distracted. While all of these events have practical explanations, it was the timing of all of them that made them a bit weird.”

Then came the fear.

“As the things that happened became both more subtle and distracting, I had moments where I actually began to worry about the safety of those around me and, at times, for myself. Yes, I know it may sound superstitious at best to anyone who doesn’t believe in the supernatural. For me, though, I believe I was peering into a realm that should be understood to the best of our ability, but one that consists of opposing forces that may not want exposure.”

Whether coincidence or demonic activity, one thing is certain. Tosca Lee is happy to be writing about something else while Demon hits the shelves for Halloween. Her second novel is the story of Eve.

“At the heart of these books is my desire to more deeply understand this idea of God, of good and evil,” Tosca says. “And of the struggle of the first people to grasp these concepts and deal with their implications. I write foremost to fill in the gaps in my own conceptual understanding of my faith. When a reader writes to me and says, ‘You made me see something in a whole new way,’ or ‘I never thought of that before,’ that is the greatest compliment.”

Special thanks to Glass Roads for this article. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Tosca's fabulous book.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Fine Linen Belt

16243_linenIn Jeremiah 13, God tells Jeremiah to purchase a linen belt and tie it around his waist. Jeremiah does as God instructs him. Then God speaks a second time, telling Jeremiah to bury the belt in a crevice. Many days later, Jeremiah unearths the belt at God’s direction and finds it ruined and completely useless. God uses this picture literally to show Jeremiah what Judah and Israel have become in their idolatry—“useless.”

As I read this chapter, I had to pause, and take note. (That’s usually the Holy Spirit saying, “Whoa, stop and pay attention!) Throughout the Bible, we usually see linen used in association with Christ and his priesthood, going all the way back to Exodus and Aaron. Revelations 19:8 says that “fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.”

Isn’t it so like God to use a metaphor to reflect his meaning on so many levels? Judah and Israel had lost their righteousness because of their pride, wickedness, and stubbornness. They became as broken and tattered as that linen belt.

God further expounds upon the meaning of the belt in verse 11:

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Hideous Beauty by Jack Cavanaugh

A Hideous Beauty, the first book in the Kingdom Wars series, is very fascinating. I was delighted to finally get a chance to read a book by Jack Cavanaugh. The premise is unique and keeps you hooked to the end, which is good because, in all honestly, I didn't like the hero of this story at first. He comes across very selfish and self-centered, but by the end, I could see how this works well with the plot. Big risk though.

Despite the lack of emotion in the beginning, I think Cavanaugh did a great job weaving a tale of the ageless battle between good and evil. I did question one aspect of his theology exhibited in the book, but with further thought decided this is only based on my interpretation of what was presented. (Would love to sit with JC and discuss that one!)

In the meantime, I leave this prelude for your reading consideration, courtesy of Glass Roads PR, and I definitely recommend this book for your reading stack. One lucky commenter will get a free copy!

Imagine America’s borders have been breached—but not by something you can see. Homeland Security doesn’t even acknowledge this terrorist group exists. Yet hundreds, possibly thousands of spies are crossing our borders every day. They are renegade angels, agents of destruction from a supernatural realm.

They move among us virtually undetected. For millennia they have acted as sleeper agents, influencing human history. All the wars in the world pale in comparison to the havoc they can wreak. And now, one man is about to be sucked in to the battle. Pulitzer Prize winner Grant Austin returns to his old high school to flaunt his accomplishments in the face of his childhood nemesis, Miles Shepherd. But he discovers a conspiracy of cosmic proportions involving a plot to assassinate the president and implicate Grant as a conspirator. In an effort to unmask the assailants and salvage his own reputation, Grant enlists the aid of a wheelchair-bound professor of theology, a high-powered Washington insider, and an investigative reporter who just happens to be his old flame. As Grant peels away the layers of conspiracy, the truth takes on a hideous beauty— for nothing is what it seems to be. Not even Grant Austin.

How did you get the inspiration to mix genres like you did in this book: suspense, political fiction, and the supernatural? How do you even classify the book when describing it to others?
Kingdom Wars is supernatural suspense, the everyday world colliding with the inhabitants of heaven. In A Hideous Beauty, the point of collision is the political arena when a plot to assassinate the president is uncovered. In the second book, Tartarus, the conflict erupts after a newly discovered ancient manuscript leads archaeologists to long-lost New Testament treasures.

Where did you birth the idea for this book? When? How did it come about?
As a student of the Bible I have developed a fascination with the way it describes the supernatural and natural worlds overlapping. It assumes the overlapping is obvious to everyone. The book of Hebrews tells us that we might at times find ourselves entertaining angels and not be aware of it. But it never says whether the angels we encounter will be friendly. After all, Lucifer is an angel. That’s all it took to get my imagination jump-started. I dove into the Bible looking for instances of encounters with the supernatural and developed my stories from there.

What sort of research was necessary for writing Kingdom Wars?
Extensive. I have used the same approach writing these contemporary novels that I used while writing historical fiction. Instead of tracking down historical documents, I have researched the Bible (translating from the original languages), read numerous theological books on angels and the supernatural, and read popular and literary works, such as Milton’s, Paradise Lost and Dante’s Divine Comedy. I want to introduce the modern reader to the supernatural through stories just as these men did for their readers in their day.

What takeaway points do you hope the reader pulls from this book?
Angels are real. They are here. They are active. And some of them are not friendly. In the front of each of the novels I included quotations from other Christian scholars like C. S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer, who have said essentially the same thing I’m saying, only I’m saying it in the form of a story.

What other books are in the series, and when will they release?
At present, there will be a second Kingdom Wars book. The working title is Tartarus and it is scheduled for release Spring 2008. The concept for this book is the advantage rebel angels have over humans in terms of life span. Their lives span millennia. We have less than a century to learn about them, adapt our way of thinking to their presence, and engage them in battle. They can use this disparity to give them a tactical advantage. Think of it as time-released terrorism. The story begins when a fraudulent First Century manuscript is unearthed two thousand years after it was created.

Can you share something with our readers about what God has been teaching you lately?
Not surprisingly as I search the Bible for supernatural encounters, the lessons I have been learning are in the area of living a spiritual life. The book of Ephesians has been particularly helpful. I have been learning that intangibles such as courage, confidence, truth, humility, and patience are not simply characteristics of a spiritual person, they are that person’s offensive and defensive weapons. When the adversary attacks with doubt, lies, and intimidation, we fight back by choosing to live confidently, by choosing to tell the truth, and by choosing to take a courageous stand.

What else would you like your readers to know about you, or about Hideous Beauty?
Grant Austin’s use of humor in the face of adversity is a Cavanaugh family trait. We laugh a lot. Our family gatherings are marked by levity and laughter. We laugh during difficult times. Sometimes we laugh at the wrong times. (I once laughed myself out of $800 during a negotiation for a speaking engagement.) I have standing instructions for kazoos to be passed out at my funeral. My family will know what to do with them. I want them to laugh in the face of death and not to mourn as those who have no hope.

Monday, October 22, 2007


New_ark3Lord, prepare me
To be a sanctuary
Pure and holy
Tried and true
With thanksgiving
I’ll a be a living
For You.

The first time I ever went on a youth trip was as a youth counselor. I’m sure I learned more that year than the teens I worked with. (I was green beyond belief!) The lines above have stayed with me ever since that trip over ten years ago. Recently this song came to mind again in conjunction with a Bible study I’m doing about the Tabernacle.

God was very clear and specific with Moses in regards to how He wanted the Tabernacle made. Right down to the cubit. The altars of sacrifice and incense, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place, the priestly garments, the lampstand.

I love how the incense represents prayer. I love how the whole imagery here ultimately leads to Christ and his final sacrifice. I love how God weaves this tale in pages and pages of symbolism that will take us from this lifetime and into the next to understand it all. And maybe all of eternity to fully appreciate. I love this great big God who saw fit to give me a glimpse of what’s to come in regards to my precious husband.

You see, I’ve come to realize that what God shows me the first time is never the complete picture. Like a multifaceted diamond, his revelations capture the light of truth and reveal unlimited nuances. And so it’s happened again.

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How Did We Get Here?

833297_you_shall_love_the_lord_yourIt’s the question we all dance around. The one we sometimes want to ask but don’t. The one we dread being asked. The one we know the person’s dying to ask us when we tell them why our spouse doesn’t share our faith.

“Did you know he wasn’t a Christian when you married him?” (I can hear the universal cringe.)

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Friday, October 12, 2007

My Life, Unscripted with Tricia Goyer

Tricia Goyer joins us today to talk about her new book, My Life, Unscripted. I've looked this book over and think it's a great tool for youth counselors and study groups. Now here's Tricia with a scoop about her book, and as always, leave a comment and even share a script of your teenage "drama." One of you will receive a copy of this innovative book.

The Facts of Life was teen girl drama at its finest. Yet today's teens know life if NOT like the movies. Real life means real drama ... something teens face on a daily basis. Yet, do teens have to let their lives be molded by every wave of emotion? My Life, Unscripted empowers teen girls to write their own script and direct their own life by using God's Script as a guide.

Looking back at my drama-filled teen years I now wonder ... What was I thinking?
The truth? I wasn't. I lived from day to day on every wave of emotion. Some days excitement and passion partnered up, pattering wildly within my heart.

Other days, depression and anxiety were my silent friends. I lived each day as it came, with no plan for my future, for my relationships, or for my heart.

I lived my life completely unscripted ... and, well, it didn't go well for me. Teen pregnancy and a broken heart were only two consequences. Yet my prayer is that when teen girls are asked Who's Writing Your Life? their answer will be ME ... with the guidance of God, My Director.

Q & A
Tell us about My Life, Unscripted.
Sure! With real-life scripts, screenwriting terms, and timely topics, My Life, Unscripted helps teen girls explore their own inner struggles and outward relationships. It's my hope they'll learn the importance of "scripting" their own responses BEFORE challenging life-situations arise.

By contrasting real-life with TV/movies, it's my hope that teen girls will understand they don't have to get caught up in the drama. They don't have to face situations as they arise, but rather they can think about, pray about, and consider how to face these situations before they hit the big screen of their lives.

Is it true that much of YOUR story shows up in these pages?
Gulp. Yes, I'm afraid so. In fact, I shared parts of my story that I SWORE I'd never tell a soul. My teenage script (portrayed in the book as Trish Valley) wasn't one I'd suggest my daughter, nor my readers to copy.

Tell us about these scripts.
The introductory script of Trish Valley shows a scene where Trish urges her mom to follow Trish's boyfriend into the McDonald's parking lot so she can "spill her news." The other girl in the car and her boyfriend's response to Trish's pregnancy are unfortunately not fiction. I wrote out the scenes as they would appear in an actual script. I even use all the correct terms and layout.

In addition to teen pregnancy, what are some of the other "scripts"?

Do I have to tell? Well, I guess it's in print now! Let me see: fists fights with a rival, sneaking out of my parents' house, getting caught by my boyfriend kissing his best friend--does that give you an idea? Do I have to go on?

No, you can stop there. But WHY? Why did you decide to share these stories?
First, because I want girls to understand the heartache of unwise decisions. I want to them to be able to relate to me, rather than feeling preached at. Also, I wanted to share my stories because many young women have faced the same type of situations, or they know friends who have. And finally because they are great object lessons for the importance of following biblical truth. That is something I did learn!

Okay, so your book is for teens, but what about the moms out there who feel they have past mistakes they don't want to share?
Well, they could each write a book about their teen years! Ha- just kidding! But for those moms out there, maybe your teen years were not as drama-filled as mine. Or, if they were, maybe you are fearful of sharing them with your teen. The truth is, teens learn best not with information and knowledge, but rather by hearing life examples and understanding how decisions can affect all parts of our lives. So, time to get brave, Mom. Open your heart and share what worked and what didn't. It just might help your daughter write a better script for herself.

Check out CHAPTER ONE.

Another scoop! My Life, Unscripted is in Barnes and Noble as part of their back-to-school endcap promotion!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An Interview with Robin Caroll

Today is a most auspicious day! One of my best friends, Robin Miller (writing as Robin Caroll) joins us today to share about her first book, Bayou Justice. And because she’s also one of my awesome crit partners, I get to torment her a bit. LOL! Just kidding…well, mostly.

So, here we go!

Robin, as you look back over the last two years you’ve spent as my wonderful crit partner (please hold your applause), what would you say stands out the most to you in this process of becoming published? (Insert reverent music here.)

Has it only been two years? Gosh, it feels like forever! LOL Seriously, I mean that in a GOOD way. I can’t remember how I survived without my cps! What stands out the most? Hmmm…..I’d have to say having so many people believe in me when I didn’t believe in myself. That’s humbling. VERY humbling. My family, my mentor, my cps, my writing buds, and my agent…..each one took a turn lifting me up when I was ready to chunk it all.

What has God taught you in this journey? (If she says the “P” word, get your water balloons ready and take aim!)

Don’t worry, I used my once-a-month-allowance of the “p” word on Heather’s blog! LOL I think God’s taught me, well, reminded me, that He’s in control. While I get so caught up in life and its messes, I think it’s all about me. And it’s SO not! LOL

Your books have a Cajun theme. Say something to us in that Cajun dialect you know so well. (Be still my heart…) Be sure to translate!

LOL…wow, free reign! LOL Hmmm…how about a bit of advice for writers? Lâche pas! Lâche pas la patate! Translated, that means Don’t give up! Keep it up! How’s that? My hubby says I say Mais non! a lot, which means But no! Oh no! LOLOLOL

Can I pick on her just a little more?

Gee, thanks, D! What’re friends for, huh? LOL

Robin, you’re president of American Christian Fiction Writers, a mom of three girls, a wife of 18 years…you’re about the only writer I’ve ever met who can actually write and hold a conversation at the same time. Tell the truth…when exactly did they clone you?

LOL…I wish! I just was blessed with the ability to read and write fast. Trust me, I need more hours in the day.

What’s your favorite pastime (besides killing your poor characters)?

Awww, you mean I can’t claim that one? I SO love killing my characters. Okay, I love torturing my characters, too. Does that count? Seriously, I like to scrapbook, although I haven’t had time to do it in some time. I love to talk on the phone (no comments from the peanut gallery) with family and friends. I call my mom every morning. It helps since we’re four hours away.

Favorite character in your book?

The heroine, CoCo. Maybe because so much of my own personality is in her. Or maybe because my youngest daughter’s middle name is the same, although I spelled it the Cajun way—Co-Ceaux. Or maybe because she loves the bayous I love so much. But since it’s fiction, I made her much more beautiful.

Favorite way of torturing your friends? (Just preparing myself…)

As if I’d tell you my secrets? HA! LOL

Any parting words of wisdom? (Hold your breath!)

Wanna know what I think is the coolest thing about writing fiction? You actually get to think before your character speaks. Always the quick, perfect comeback. Man, wish that would happen to me in real life! LOL

Isn’t she great? And her book is AWESOME! Run, don’t walk, and get a copy. And guess what? There are three more books in the series so you get to lose yourself in more stories about this wonderfully quirky Cajun family. Enjoy!

Thanks, D…this has been a lot of fun! :D

Be sure to leave a comment to win a copy of this fabulous book!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

An Interview with Lisa T. Bergren

Here's a series that looks absolutely fascinating, and I'm glad I can feature best selling and award winning author, Lisa T. Bergren's books, even if I don't have time at the moment to read them. That means I have to find a nice home for these two yummy books. Leave a comment, picking a number between 1 and 100. The winner will get BOTH books!

Now about Lisa...

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the author of 28 books, with over 1.3 million sold. She is a publishing consultant, writer, Bible study leader, mother and wife. Her hobbies include travel (mostly from an armchair), reading, watching movies, cooking and exploring with her family. Lisa's most recent books include The Begotten, The Betrayed, God Gave Us Heaven, What Women Want and The Busy Mom's Devotional. She resides in Colorado Springs, Colorado. To sign up for her monthly email (which includes a new, unpublished devotional) go to and join her newsletter list.

Give us a glimpse of The Gifted series.

This is a supernatural suspense series set in medieval times, pre-Reformation, pre-Renaissance. It’s about a group of people who have profound spiritual gifting (healing, prophecy, wisdom, faith) who are in search of the lost letter of St. Paul, another letter he supposedly wrote to the Corinthians (an actual biblical mystery), but this letter has a non-Pauline prophetic bent. And in the margins, over the centuries, this secret letter has been passed along and protected by monks, some of whom added their own prophetic illuminations—drawings of the characters that appear centuries later. There’s the beautiful healer, a handsome knight, the wise priest, the child who can discern good from evil—characters that we both empathize with (when they fail) and wish to emulate (when they succeed). It is an epic story of good vs. evil and the desire to do what God calls us to do.

Where did you get the idea?
I read Da Vinci Code and stayed up all night reading it. In the end, I was grieved and angered at the heresy presented there. I set out to find a true biblical mystery, and two scholarly friends told me about the "lost letter(s) of Saint Paul," written to the Corinthians. At the same time, was profoundly influenced in watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on film. So when Publishers Weekly referenced both Da Vinci Code and LOTR, and compared my book, The Begotten, favorably, I was thrilled!

What truths from this series are most relevant for people today?

The main theme for The Begotten is really embracing God's supreme love, and finding total healing through it. The main theme for The Betrayed is perseverance and faith through trial. I'm thinking those are truths I need to be reminded of every year...and hope readers are ministered to through those lessons (even in the midst of a fast-paced read!)

What did you enjoy about writing these two books?

I love getting lost in this group of characters. They begin to feel like family to me, and alongside them, I learn more about the God we serve, battle evil, travel the world and inspire others, as if I'm in each of their heads, living each of their lives. Oh, and I got to go to Italy THREE times (and the South of France for a bit too) to research for this series--how cool is that?!?

Are there plans for more books in this series?

I'm currently at work on book #3, The Blessed. I think it ends there, but man, it's hard to say goodbye to such compelling characters! Blessed comes out next fall.

Don't forget to leave a comment and pick a number. These stories look fabulous!

Monday, October 01, 2007

An Interview with Creston Mapes

Creston Mapes returns to Kittens Come From Eggs to talk about his new powerhouse book, Nobody. This book has one of the clearest spiritual messages I’ve ever come across in fiction. Rich in subtly, this story isn’t preachy, it’s inspiring. You’ll walk away from this read, examining your own life and how you impact others. Now, let’s hear what Creston has to say about his latest book. (And stay tuned to the end for a chance to win a copy.)

Hey, Creston, great to have you back! Nobody just released. Can you tell us a little about the story?

Thanks for having me back, Dineen.

Nobody is the story of Las Vegas newspaper reporter Hudson Ambrose, who hears a report on the police scanner about an injured person at a bus stop along The Strip in Las Vegas. When Hudson goes to check it out in the pre-dawn hours, he finds a murdered homeless man with a safe-deposit box key and bankbook in his pocket worth close to $1 million. Because the police are slow to respond, Hudson is faced with a question—whether to wait for the cops and have the story get caught up in red tape, or swipe the key and bankbook, and run. Soon, Hudson finds himself on a deadly, suspense-filled investigation into the death the homeless man, Chester Holte. Who was this man? Was he really rich? Why was he living on the streets of Las Vegas? And why did the entire homeless community believe he was an angel in disguise?

Did you have to do a lot of research into Las Vegas and the homeless there for this story? Any of it on location?

Yes. My publisher sent me to Las Vegas for a number of days. I toured the city with a great guy named Brian Brooks with the Nevada Health Centers. Brian took me to several of the free clinics where the homeless of Las Vegas go for everything from chronic colds to spider bites. I interviewed doctors and nurses. We drove by the encampments and dry dessert wash beds where the homeless live, as well as the soup kitchens and other homeless hangouts. Of course, I visited the casinos and clubs while there as well.

There are some 10,000 homeless people in Las Vegas. Many suffer from drug addiction, depression, and mental illness. Some 6,000-8,000 people move to Las Vegas each month, many looking to “start over.” However, many of those same people end up homeless.

Las Vegas is the most visited tourist spot in the U.S., with 40 million visitors a year…more than tour the White House each year.

Chester Holte is a powerful character in this story. Amazingly, he’d dead before the story even opens, yet his presence is as strong as any of the other characters. What was that like, to write a character like that?

At times it was difficult. The book is done in the multiple first person point of view. So, the reader is hearing, first-hand, from a number of different characters. I love writing in the first-person and my editor helped my really work at making each character sound unique.

Chester is the only character in the novel we don’t hear from, first-hand. However, because Hudson is investigating his murder, we “see” flashbacks from Chester’s life that give the reader a very real and immediate sense of what he was like.

I enjoy writing from different and unique perspectives.

You credit your father for giving you the “seed” for this story? How did that come about and is Chester like your father? Who or what was your inspiration for this phenomenal and Jesus-like character?

My dad, Bernie, who passed away 10 months ago, was with me at a park in St. Augustine, Florida, when we saw a homeless man sitting on a park bench. The man was ripping chunks from a loaf of bread he was clutching. He threw a bunch to the black birds scattered all around him, and he ate some. My dad leaned near and said, “That would be a good idea for a book, Cres.” And so, when I heard my publisher was sending me to Las Vegas, that seed had been planted and I brought that idea to life by touring the homeless community and getting a good feel for what it’s like to be homeless in Las Vegas.

My dad was not the inspiration for Chester’s character (although Dad was a very generous man). I don’t know, I just envisioned this caring, compassionate homeless man who didn’t care about money, but cared about people. The more I wrote the book, the more Chester grew and formed into this almost angel-like character….but not so angel-like that he was unrealistic. He reminds me of the text when Jesus said to be kind to strangers, because we may be entertaining an angel in disguise.

Have you ever met a Chester Holte in the real world?

I wish I could say I have, but no, not yet. I do know several people who blow me away with their thoughtfulness, unselfishness, and generosity. I wish I could be more like them.

What journey did this story take you on personally?

Well, the journey to Las Vegas, for one. Also, when I was in Vegas, I met with Pastor Jud Wilhite of Central Christian Church, one of the country’s fastest-growing churches. Jud’s church’s mission is to “reach those who are far from God.” He shared a poem with me, written by the late Samuel Shoemaker, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. When I read this poem, I knew it would become the theme for NOBODY. It’s all about becoming so deeply involved inside the church, that we forget about people outside the doors. I had done this once in my life, so it was very emotional for me to tell it again, through Chester’s life, on a much more dramatic scale, of course.

If you like, I’ll end with that poem here, which runs at the beginning of the novel. My hope is that readers will refer back to it often and reflect upon it as they read the novel:

I Stand By The Door

I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in nor stay too far out.
The door is the most important door in the world.
It is the door through which men walk when they find God.
There's no use in my going way inside and staying there
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I, crave to know where the door is
And all that so many ever find is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind men with outstretched, groping hands
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door, yet they never find it.
So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world is for men to find that door -
The door to God.
The most important thing any man can do
Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands and put it on the latch -
The latch that only clicks and opens to the man's own touch.
Men die outside that door
As starving beggars die on cold nights in cruel cities in the dead of winter
Die for want of what is within their grasp
They live on the other side of it, live because they have found it
Nothing else matters compared to helping them find it
And open it and walk in and find Him.
So I stand by the door.

Go in great saints, go all the way in
Go way down in the cavernous cellars and way into the spacious attics
It is a vast roomy house, this house where God is.
Go into the deepest of hidden casements of withdrawal, of silence, of sainthood
Some must inhabit those inner rooms,
And know the depths and heights of God
And call outside to the rest of us how wonderful it is
Sometimes I take a deeper look in, sometimes venture in a little farther
But my place seems close to the opening
So I stand by the door.

There is another reason why I stand there -
Some people get part way in and become afraid
Lest God in the zeal of His house devour them
For God is so very great and asks all of us.
And these people feel a cosmic claustrophobia and they want to get out
"Let me out!" they cry, and the people way inside terrify them more.
Somebody must be by the door to tell them that they are spoiled for the old life
They have seen too much.
Once taste God and nothing but God will do anymore.
Somebody must be watching for the frightened
Who seek to sneak out just where they came in
To tell them how much better it is inside.
The people too far in do not see how near these are to leaving
Preoccupied with the wonder of it all
Somebody must watch for those who have entered the door but would like to run away
So for them too, I stand by the door.
I admire the people who go way in,

But I wish they would not forget how it was before they got in
Then they would be able to help the people who have not yet even found the door
Or the people who want to run away from God again
You can go in too deeply and stay in too long and forget the people outside the door
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place
Near enough to God to hear Him and know He is there
But not far from men as to not hear them and remember that they are there too.
Where? Outside the door.
Thousands of them, millions of them
But more important for me, one of them, two of them, ten of them
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch
So I shall stand by the door and wait for those who seek it.
I had rather be a doorkeeper, so I stand by the door.

Stand By the Door: The Life of Sam Shoemaker, by Helen Smith Shoemaker, Word Books, 1967

Thanks again, Dineen. Keep writing for Him.

Thanks, Creston! Will do. Now you readers out there, here's your bonus. Whoever can tell me what kind of shoes Chester Holte wears gets a signed copy of this awesome book!