Category: Ebook Deal

Longing for Home over the Holidays—Thoughts on Finding Home in a Good Book

“When you lay me down to die / I’ll open up my eyes on the skies I’ve never known / In the place where I belong / And I’ll realize His love is just another word for Home.” 

~ Songwriter Andrew Peterson, “Lay Me Down”

As the holidays approach, the highways fill with traffic and airport lines grow long as hordes of people try to fulfill their great desire—or obligation—to get home. Whether home is a safe and joyous place for you or a place filled with secrets and hurts, we all long to fill our home-shaped void. Sometimes our actual homes, unfortunately, just aren’t the places to satisfy our longings, no matter how great the distance we travel.

The word home connotes a place where safety, affection, and basic comforts like food, warmth, and water abound. But what if home is unable to meet your basic needs? For every family with windows fogged from warm food cooking in a hot oven to be served to laughing, loving people, others are lonely, wishing they had a family to celebrate with. Many suffer as the product of a broken home, or miss members serving in the military or those who have left this life. For these people, the hordes at the airport and on the roads contribute to their grief.

In Allison Pittman’s new book, Loving Luther, we meet Katharina von Bora, a young woman with a past filled with deprivation after her father sent her to live at a convent at an early age. The harsh living conditions, punishments, lack of love and possessions, and conditional approval all create an environment without grace, mercy, or belonging. Katharina longs for an escape from the rule-keeping that never results in love. Does this remind you of your own living conditions or those of anyone you know?

Home should be a place where we live in truth without harboring secrets, where we are loved for being our authentic selves and feel safe to disagree. But in Katharina’s story, despite confession, Scripture memorization, recited prayers, and paid penance, she becomes a liar and a sneak to hide the times she breaks the burdensome rules. Home should never be a place where we resort to sneaking and lying to avoid punishment.

Everyone is deserving of the dignity and safety offered in a loving home, but if home feels lacking for you on earth, we can remember our real home still awaits us. As we celebrate a King born in a stranger’s bed of straw, let’s remember we’re all truly homeless until we arrive in his presence at the end of this age. Our ultimate belonging happens with God and within the community of his church. At that point, we’ll all realize “his love is just another word for Home.”

Tyndale offers other titles that address the complicated relationships between family members. Maybe some of you need to consider how your parents’ pasts contributed to their parenting style. We see this play out in Francine Rivers’s novel Her Mother’s Hope as sensitive Hildemara interprets her mother Marta’s tough love as rejection when it’s actually an effort to instill independence and strength in her children to protect them from the hurts she experienced. Unfortunately, Marta’s tough love only pushes away her children. Often, understanding a person’s motives allows for healing and forgiveness. This Christmas, would you be helped by uncovering more of your own family story?

Cathy Gohlke’s Secrets She Kept also might provide some perspective. In this novel, protagonist Hannah Sterling longs for a close relationship with her estranged mother. Following her mother’s death, Hannah discovers the existence of a grandfather she never knew who ends up holding the key to the family’s tragic past. Sometimes other family members hold the answers we seek.

This Christmas, may we strive to understand our family histories. And may we not forget those around us who have no safe place to go. If possible, invite them into your celebrations, to sit at your table and feast. And keep them in your prayers.

To continue the conversation about home and family, we’re offering these titles as e-book deals this month:  

Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

Loving Luther by Allison Pittman

Visit E-book Extra for more great deals available this month!

~*~

Thanks for reading! When you think of home, do you think more of a person, a place, or a promise?

Let us know in the comments!

Unexpected Masterpieces—How God Uses Creativity

No one doubts Beethoven’s Symphony no. 5 or Les Misérables or The Lord of the Rings are deserving of creative masterpiece status. But creativity and masterpieces come sometimes in unexpected forms. Often people say, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body,” but most likely these folks are not seeing the giftedness in their lives and lack a vision for how they can use their gifts and abilities.

If you are a skilled painter, writer, or musician . . . wonderful! You need to steward those abilities from God until they shine, always keeping in mind they are gifts. But outside the official world of the arts, creative thinking is alive and well and appears in many forms. Engineers may not be hammering away at their most recent novel, but they go to work daily to solve high-tech problems in the realms of security, travel, communications, business, and more. The same can be said for the scientists, mathematicians, and anyone thinking creatively outside the box.

The very idea of “creating” means to make something that didn’t exist before just as God once made humans out of dust. And it means to mold already-created resources into something fresh. Daily we are surrounded by people who feel like nothing, yet unknowingly wear the amazing title of God’s most valued masterpiece: you, your loved ones, coworkers, enemies, the folks inside a prison, the one standing at a street corner holding a sign saying, “Anything helps. God bless you,” or the one spraying graffiti on buildings. Some people may look more like rough drafts than finished products, but God wants to chisel away at us all, smoothing down sharp edges and bulky surfaces, aiming for that precious finished product underneath. How would the most lost and broken among us feel if they knew, really knew, what lay beneath their surfaces? The good news is, we are invited to befriend and support these wounded souls so they move closer to realizing their masterpiece status in Christ.

When we invest in broken lives through our time, prayers, wisdom, and counsel, what joy Jesus must experience as the dirt and detritus from shattered lives vanishes to unveil something unimaginably new. We share in that joy as we accept His invitation to cooperate in His work and cast a vision for people. Maybe we can’t all write a symphony, pen a novel, or paint a stunning landscape, but we can all dial the phone number of a hurting and lonely person, speak to a stranger, or share our resources. In doing so, we are given the privilege of investing in human works of art.

In Francine Rivers’s newest novel, The Masterpiece, we meet two broken people who have experienced deep trauma in their past, leaving them disengaged and withdrawn from healthy relationships. Drowning in shame, they hide their histories from each other. Artist Roman Velasco draws one practice sketch after another, aiming for the finished vision in his head but in the end tossing them in the garbage, unable to reach his imagined work.

Often a troubled background leaves people believing they deserve the same outcome. But no matter how rough the appearance, no human being is a practice sketch to be thrown in the trash. And here’s where we all come in: next time you claim you don’t have a creative bone in your body, take a look around your town and neighborhood and ask how you can put your hands on an in-progress masterpiece. We can image God by encouraging wholeness where only fragments existed before, offering a way where previously there was no way.

For other stories highlighting God’s intervention and healing in broken situations, check out our e-book specials this month:

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

The Grace Medical Collection by Candace Calvert

Visit E-book Extra for more great deals available this month!

Great #MustRead Summer Deals!

 

Morning, readers! Every month over at E-book Extra we have some amazing fiction e-books for great low prices!

A sneak peek at this month’s deals . . .

Riven

Riven

#ReaderThoughts from Booklist . . .

“Christian fiction author Jerry B. Jenkins covers much ground in this weighty book.”

Only $1.99!

 

Courageous

Courageous

Retailers’ Choice Award winner, 2012

Only $1.99!

 

Dying Declaration

Dying-Declaration

#ReaderThoughts from Booklist (Starred Review) . . .

“[Singer] delivers a fresh approach to the legal thriller, with subtle characterizations and nuanced presentations of ethical issues.”

Only $0.99!

 

Many more e-book deals available now! Happy reading!

Christmas Mail and Friendship: Thoughts on Holiday Correspondence by Francine Rivers

The Christmas season is often synonymous with checking in with friends, both old and new. Below, author Francine Rivers shares her thoughts on one of her favorite holiday traditions.

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I have all kinds of reasons why I love the Christmas season, the most important of which is celebrating the birth of my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  But one of the things I anticipate with great delight is the arrival of yearly newsy letters from relatives and friends who only write once a year.  Some don’t have email or computers and write lovely, long-hand letters filled with happenings.  I have several friends who love to explore the world.  Being in their sixties doesn’t stop them from climbing mountains, riding rapids, camping in Argentina or Peru, mountain biking with grandchildren.  I can’t wait to read where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to over the last twelve months.

Thoughts-on-Holiday-Correspondence-by-Francine-Rivers

Not all my friends are in their sixties. My mother said, “If you only make friends your own age, someday you’ll end up with no friends at all.”  This was at a time in her life where opening Christmas cards had become somewhat depressing because they carried news of yet another friend’s spouse having passed through the Pearly Gates. 

Friends come in all ages.  As you get older, age doesn’t matter.  What does is to find friends who talk with you and listen, who share their stories and are interested in yours.  I enjoy my golden oldies (friends I’ve known since grade school) and those I have just met through a class or through a friend.  I met one good friend at a book signing.

Cherish those old friends, but don’t be afraid to add new ones.  Friendship keeps life full and interesting. 

~*~

In need of a stocking stuffer this year?

The Shoebox

Francine Rivers The Shoe Box E-book is only $1.99.

Get this Christmas e-novella now.

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