Another contrast exists between Judas Iscariot and Peter. Jesus chose both these men to follow Him. They walked closely with Him for three years, shared good and bad, worked and learned. But their attitudes were as different as day and night.
Judas reportedly filched money from the kitty, yet complained when Mary poured perfume worth more than a year’s salary over Jesus’ head. Peter was not perfect either, wanting to know how many times he had to forgive his brother, resisting the Master’s foot-washing.
But Judas acted and reacted from selfish motives, while Peter really wanted to know Jesus’ heart. In the end, that made all the difference. When Judas realized he had sinned in betraying God’s Son, he committed his most selfish act by taking his own life. Even though this was foretold in prophetic Scripture, he still made that choice. Peter, on the other hand, wept over his denial of Jesus, but sorrowed toward restoration.
Jesus acted in accordance with all He had been teaching the disciples. His words to the women after His resurrection were: “…go, tell the disciples and Peter…” (Mark 16:7 NIV). He sought out Peter specifically and assured him that not only was he forgiven, he was commissioned to carry on his master’s work.
Easter continues to consist of contrasts.Our society has stooped to the low of pitting spring colors, chocolate and rabbits with the greatest sacrifice ever offered. Let us concentrate our thoughts on Christ’s love and forgiveness, turning our darkness to light.
The Sign of the Dolphin is now available!
THE SIGN OF THE DOLPHIN is the second book in the series that started with THE SCRIBES: A NOVEL ABOUT THE EARLY CHURCH. Set in the year 184 A.D., this book contains a collection of 72 letters which tell the story of a journey through Gaul and Britain. Along the way you will meet fascinating characters like Irenaeus of Lyon and Diognetus and Ulpius Marcellus. You will wrestle with the question of the two versions of the Acts of the Apostles. You will discover the glories of art in Britain under Roman rule, and you will join Marcus the scribe as he seeks to manage an unruly team, deal with an independent young woman, and share the good news with people on the Roman frontier.
Grab a copy on Amazon!
Peter Rodgers was Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Haven Connecticut, and an Associate Fellow of Timothy Dwight College at Yale University from 1979 until 2003. He holds degrees from Hobart College, General Theological Seminary and Oxford University. Before coming to St. John’s in 1979 he was curate for student ministry at the Round Church in Cambridge, England. He has published several journal articles on the text of the New Testament and is the author of Knowing Jesus (InterVarsity 1982, Forward Movement 1989), and Text and Story (Wipf and Stock, 2011). In his retirement, he teaches New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, Sacramento campus, and is Pastor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Antelope, CA.
My blog plan is to interview an author the second Tuesday of each month, then review one of his or her books on the following Tuesday. Last week I posted an interview with Murray Pura, and since he has quite a few publishing credits, I decided to post brief reviews on several instead of just one.
To see Murray’s complete list of published works, visit http://www.murraypura.com/library.htm.
The first book I read by Murray Pura was The White Birds of Morning (not to be confused with The Wings of Morning, which is another of his titles). White Birds is a fat novel of almost 600 pages with a most intriguing cover.
Summary: Andrew Chornavka is required by the Vatican to once again open up his past from the WWII years and to examine his and his family’s role in war and peace from 1939-1943. See full review on amazon.com/ca
I found this story, told by the lead character in first person, to be intense and haunting. It’s not an easy read to follow Andrew’s memories and the vast cast of characters involved in this riveting saga. The writing is stellar, the characters so real we mourn with/for them, the settings devastatingly authentic. In short, this epic work imprinted on my mind and left me wanting to read the sequel. I see by the book list that there is a previous book called Zo, which I must read. More to follow in future too.
Murray’s writing covers many genres, one being Amish fiction. Today I’ll feature The Rose of Lancaster County series. This story was originally released in installments or “volumes,” of which there are ten. It is now available as a complete digital or print book.
This series takes place in 1720s Pennsylvania with Rose Lantz, a quiet, dedicated young woman of the Amish community who is accused of witchcraft. Is her faith strong enough to carry her through this nightmare while her future hangs in the balance?
One of Murray’s most popular historical fiction series is the Danforths of Lancashire, the first of which is Ashton Park. Written in the style of Downton Abbey, these books offer a host of colorful characters, unique settings and a convincing plot line.
So far there are two sequels to this series: Beneath the Dover Sky and London Dawn. Set in the momentous times from midway through the first world war (1916) to the late 1930s, these stories are as epic as the era they encompass.
A young man of unknown origin and hidden giftings has been called to an adventure that takes him from Skyrl into a world of evil and supernatural conflict. With the disarmingly beautiful Skaytha at his side, Hawk ventures out to face his destiny, achieve his goal and turn darkness into light.
Besides more series, Murray has penned some stand alones and is also “hosting” a series titled Blue Heaven Romance. This is a story scenario he came up with and then recruited other authors to each write a part of the whole. The first volume is pictured at left: Emalyn’s Treasure by Joy Ross Davis.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope you broaden your reading horizons by picking up a few of Murray Pura’s books. Whatever your favorite genre, it’s bound to be in his booklist.
Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged novel writing, Christian Writers, Murray Pura, The Name of the Hawk, The Dansforths of Lancashire, The Rose of Lancaster Country, White Birds of Morning, Zo, Blue Heaven Romance, book reviews | 1 Comment »
Book one, The Roman’s Quest, tells the story of Centurion Julius and his Jewish love, Miriam. Uniting a Roman centurion and a Jewish maiden involves many challenges in the first-century Roman world.
Book two, Marcus Varitor, Centurion, follows one of the characters from book one—Julius’ friend Marcus—and weaves his story.
Decanus Marcus (decanus means “chief of ten”) is a young centurion (a professional officer of the Roman army) who has lived a rather riotous life, but seeks to straighten his course because of the change he sees in his friend Julius as well as the attraction he feels for a young Egyptian slave named Meskhanet. Julius has become a Jewish proselyte and Meskhanet also is trying to understand the ways of Adonai, the One God.
Featuring strongly in this story is the infamous Barabbas, whom we know as the criminal freed instead of Jesus. From the start of the book, we know that Decanus Marcus is committed to capturing and convicting Barabbas, but the insurrectionist is a slippery fish to catch and also has plans for revenge and betrayal. The chase leads from Jerusalem to Rome and back, which offers much fodder for story depth and color.
The plot is further complicated by Marcus’ difficult relationship with his family, Meskhanet’s wish to serve her mistress instead of marrying, Barabbas’ mother and her divided loyalties, and many more fascinating subplots. The storyline is intense and unpredictable, which makes for a gripping read.
The characters are strong but not flawless, a must in order for us to identify with them. Campbell makes us care from the beginning what happens to the characters. Dialogue also plays an important part in giving a story credibility, and the author does this well.
Both these books are impeccably researched, from my point of view. Campbell knows the money, the clothing, the lifestyles from Israel to Italy (including Barabbas’ camp), the place of women in society in that day, the relationships between slaves and masters, and many other details we take for granted when we read the story. As in any good historical fiction piece, I learned a lot from the experience and was entertained and inspired at the same time.
I highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction as well as those who do not normally read in that genre. The writing flows, the stakes are high and the takeaway value is worthwhile.
See more about Anne Baxter Campbell at the following links:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Anne-Baxter-Campbell/e/B00G7RTTDO
A radio interview is an interesting communication concept, the purpose of which, I surmise, is to promote the interviewee and make that person more visible and approachable to the listeners (and in my case, readers, since I’m an author).
This morning I participated in my first radio interview. The host is Giovanni Gelati and his show is The G-Zone on Blogtalk Radio. I wanted to be prepared for the interview, but it was off-the-cuff, so that was challenging. Just prior to the start of the interview, I came across a post through International Christian Fiction Writers, written by Ian Acheson of Sydney, Australia titled: Tips for Preparing for a Radio Interview. Ian shared some of the things he’d learned through his first radio interview, and I found them helpful. Take a look at Ian’s article.
As an ordinary person, I often come face to face with my weaknesses, and interacting spontaneously with others is one of these. Interviews are another. Live radio is right up there. But as a Christian, I know that in my weakness, God is strong…so I prayed and after listening to the half-hour interview, I think it went all right. I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Thought for the day (which I picked up from my 4-year old grandson): Jump in with both feet and “let’s see what happens, Gramma.”