Come Home

Art work by Charlie Mackesy

Luke 15:20 (Berean Study Bible), “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still in the distance, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”

In Luke 15 we can read about a man that had two sons. The younger wanted his share of the inheritance before his father had passed. This can tell us a lot about this young man. Normally an inheritance isn’t given until there is a death. In those days the oldest son got a double portion and it is possible he resented this. People who dream of getting their inheritance early usually dream about losing the person early. But this man begs his dad to give it to him now. He was tired of working his father’s land, he was tired of being the second son, and he obviously didn’t respect his father.

The father, in his love, gives the son all that is due him. What does this selfish son do? He leaves everything behind, the work, the family, his social standing, his home. Then he proceeds to fulfill every lust of his flesh. When you have a lot of money, people suddenly want to be your friend. When you are “paying for the next round” or drive the fancy car with all the bells and whistles, when you throw your money around like it will never run out, people use you.

Before long, this young man who was always provided for, who had a family and a home, had an inheritance waiting, had absolutely nothing, and because he had run so far from it all, he found himself alone and starving.

Good thing he finally “came to his senses”. He remembers how good it was back home, he thinks about how his father even treated the servants pretty darn good. It took all of this for him to realize dad wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and his life was a whole lot better than it was at the end of the rope. He began to miss his old life and says to himself:

I will get up and go back to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’ (Luke 15:18-19)

Then while he was way down the driveway his father sees him. That means dad’s been watching and he can recognize this son he loves from even very far away. Does he wait for the prodigal to come to him with his tail between his legs, rehearsing the “did you learn your lesson” speech? Nope, he runs to his son and kisses his neck. To this father, it’s like his son had returned from the dead.

What a love. I want that kind of father, don’t you? Well, it’s time we “came to our senses” as well. We have that Father. He recognizes us better than anyone, He is looking for us to come up the drive, He is ready to give us a party in Heaven. He loves us no matter how we have behaved, disrespected, and squandered what He has already given us. He loves you!

Won’t you come home?

Blog Tour for “Shatter”

What the book is about:

When a mysterious explosion kills her sister, Salem Jefferson becomes convinced the death was no accident—it was a conspiracy. But no one else at her high school believes her, and all she has so far is one clue. She knows Carrie hired a gang member to protect orchard workers. Problem is, Salem doesn’t know who.

To find out, Salem pursues the gang-bangers who rule her town, especially classmate Cordero. As her distrust of Cordero heats up, so do the number of suspects in Carrie’s death. Teachers and school officers are orchard owners. They have every reason to stop farm workers from demanding higher wages. With Carrie’s killers still out there, Salem’s not sure who she can trust. Meanwhile, the people who live on orchards and the people who pick them are drawing lines in the sand.

The only way for Salem to learn the truth is to slip behind those enemy lines.

The only way to survive is to find a way back out.

My Review: I loved this book. Salem can’t let anyone know what her gut is telling her. Everything is messed up and she doesn’t know who to trust. This is a good book about forgiveness, finding your identity, and friendship. I give it five stars. I loved it. No sexual content or swearing. There is some violence. I can recommend for teens and up.

About the Author: I live in Utah with five kids, a CrossFit-training husband who writes computer code, and lots of hip hop background music.

The Rest of The Tour:

I Am Living In Hope

Romans 8:22-25 (BSB), “We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see? But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently.”

Hope is a wonderful thing. It keeps us from giving up, from throwing in the towel, or tucking tail and running away. In that long dark tunnel, hope is that little bit of light way off in the distance that promises you will come out on the other side. Romans eight tells us that we patiently wait for something we hope for, especially when we can’t see it.

Knowing God has healed us, that He wants us healed, can help us be patient when the symptoms are still there. We can pretty much apply that to any promise God has given us. Just because we can’t see it, or maybe it is only that tiny speck of light, doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. God isn’t a liar. If He said it, it is a done deal.

In I Timothy 1:1 Paul calls Jesus our hope, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.” (Emphasis mine).

Think about that for a minute… Jesus IS hope.

I know that He is in me and I am in Him. So, it isn’t a stretch of the imagination to say that I live IN HOPE.

What will make me lose hope, only me. My wrong thinking, my impatience, my doubt and unbelief, my lack of trust in Him.

I choose hope, I choose Him.

A Peak Into My YA Romance: “Counterfeit”

Athena looked around the crowded room filled with the rich and snobby. They were just the kind of people that she hated, fake smiles, fake boobs, fake teeth, fake tans, and real money. That was exactly why she had invited each one. She gave her own fake smile to the elderly man with the orange tan that had just agreed to a large donation and quickly made her escape. Athena hated lying, but what else was she supposed to do? Trying to make it as truthful as possible she said she had something she needed to check on. He doesn’t need to know that the “something” is my aching toes.

She quickly passed through the side door, and found her way to the little room she had found earlier while setting up. There was enough light coming into the storage room that she didn’t bother turning on the light. No reason to let anyone know that the room is occupied. She eased down onto a wooden crate and sighed. Easing one of her ridiculously uncomfortable high heels off, she rubbed her aching toes.

Suddenly she heard a soft “bing” and she tried to figure out what it was. When she notices a soft glow coming from back in the corner of the room, behind some stacked chairs, she stood and limped over that way. Fully prepared to scream bloody murder if she had to, she unconsciously held her shoe with the sharp stiletto heal, like a weapon. As she peaked around the chairs she could just make out the glow of a cell phone between some fingers.

“Who’s there?” she asked in a stage whisper.

“You can put down that shoe, I’m not dangerous, just hiding,” came a manly voice.

“Why are you sitting in the dark?” Athena insisted.

“Why didn’t you turn on the light?”

“Oh, right,” she muttered. “Sorry, I’ll leave.”

“I take it you are hiding too,” he asked as she turned to leave.

“Well just for a minute. My feet are killing me and my head is starting to hurt,” she admitted.

Suddenly the phone came up and she could just make out the face of the person sitting in the corner.

“Landon?” Athena asked in surprise.

“Yep, that’s me. Aren’t you the hostess?”

Athena sighed again, “Yes.”

They both were silent for a minute.

“You don’t have to leave, I can go. I won’t tell a soul I saw you,” offered Landon.

“No! You were here first, I am sorry I intruded,” she stammered.

“Hey, I already wrote a check, you don’t have to worry about offending me.”

“Oh, that isn’t it,” she lied again.

He just looked up at her. Even though there wasn’t a lot of light in the room, she could tell he was calling her bluff.

“Look, I had my few minutes of escape,” he said checking the clock on his phone. “In fact in a few more, I can leave without stepping on any toes.”

“As long as they aren’t my literal toes, feel free to leave the building, after all, you already wrote the check,” she quipped.

When the Crap Hits the Fan Our Religion Falls Short

John 16:33 (NLT), “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus was very plain, we live in this corrupted, fallen world, and here, there is going to be trouble. He also prayed later in John 17, “Not that you take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one.” So, we are here till He returns or until God calls us home. So trials and sorrow will be part of our lives. Tribulations and turbulence will be in our future.

So what do we do?

Being “religious” isn’t the answer, going to church, reading your Bible, memorizing scripture isn’t the solution. Though the last three are great things, they are only a means to an end. The end, the final solution, is a close, intimate, and personal relationship with God. Knowing who He is, listening to His voice, getting to know Jesus, talking to Him in a way that isn’t just a list of “do for me” things. Because when the crap hits the fan, our religion falls short.

Jesus said that in Him we might have peace. We only get in Him, when we totally surrender our hearts to Him and allow Him to be Lord of our lives. Just saying a prayer doesn’t change us, or build a relationship. Yielding and pursuing Him does. And only a close and personal relationship with God will get me through the rough places in my life.

A great example was Jairus. He was a religious leader during Jesus time on this earth in human form. His daughter became sick and his religion couldn’t help her. There is no worse report for a parent than your child is a deaths door. This great need, with no religious solution, sent Jairus to Jesus. He had heard about His healing power. He humbled himself and sought the answer. After meeting Jesus and His quick agreement to go with Jairus, someone comes and tells the man that his daughter is dead. Sounds like misplaced faith, that the father was too late, that the answer wouldn’t come.

But Jesus! He assured Jairus that his daughter would be well. His daughter wasn’t just healed that day, she was raised from the dead.

Knowing about God doesn’t save us. Knowing Him does.