I Am Thankful, 2019

It’s been a long year. (People have always said that time flies as you get older, and I had started to see time speeding up a bit in my late teens and early twenties. Then 2018 and 2019 came along and set me back, so I guess I’ll have to start over. But I digress…) It’s been a kinda hard year in some ways, and I’ve hardly had a grateful heart every day.

But I am grateful to be alive, abiding under the shadow of the One who holds my breath in His hands.

And to list some specifics, I am thankful this year for

  • My book published! A dream come true.
  • A church I love.
  • Cool opportunities to sing with my church choir outside the church walls.
  • The fact that Middle Tennessee is finally feeling like home.
  • A vacation in the Smoky Mountains, our first since the fire in 2016.
  • A visit to St. Augustine Florida.
  • Fun movies. I’ve acquired a couple new favorites this year.
  • Sleep. (Don’t worry: I’m not becoming a grown-up. Just an adult.)
  • Two of the best sisters a girl could ask for.
  • Friends who actually seem to love this slightly crazy writer.
  • The Word of God, without which I wither in a very painful way.
  • The fact that God does meet me where I am, and loves me unconditionally.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

-Miss Darcy

Did Jesus Die Because of Love or Obedience?

I’m not sure why I read the comments under Christian YouTube videos because more often than not they’re malicious. But I ran across one a few months ago that interested me.

The comment said something to the effect of: “Why are Christians so happy that Jesus died? I mean, an innocent person dying because of something someone else did wrong? That’s not justice. That’s disgusting. Am I missing something?”

It’s a valid question. An innocent person dying for a guilty person isn’t justice. So why can we rejoice about it?

I pondered that, and it didn’t take me long to come to a conclusion.

Jesus loved us. That’s why He died to redeem us. He wanted to do it. So we rejoice in the depth of His love.

As I continued to think about it, planning a blog post on the subject, you can imagine my consternation when I ran across this post on Facebook a few weeks later:

“It wasn’t because Christ loved us that He died, He was being obedient to the Father.”

A comment on the post added, “We never said Jesus didn’t love us only that His love didn’t take Him to the cross.”

So, if that’s true and Christ died out of mere obedience to His Father, then my whole argument for the righteousness of Jesus’ death kinda falls apart. At supper that night, I alternated holding a spoon and a pencil as I worked through some of my thoughts on the subject. I read some stuff online, talked to my family about it (because I have some great theological arguers in my family), and this blog post is the result.

I’m still going to argue that Jesus died for us because He loved us. Here’s why.

We know that obedience is born of love, respect, or fear. We can rule out fear because we know Jesus and the Father love one another perfectly.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.

-1 John 4:18a

So if Jesus died primarily out of obedience to the Father, He must have died because He loved and respected the Father.

And there are many verses that speak of God sending Jesus to die for us. The famous John 3:16–“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” That could give a person the idea that it was God’s love that motivated Him to redeem us, and Jesus’ love didn’t enter the equation.

And this one:

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

-1 John 4:9-10 NKJV (emphasis mine)

But to claim that these verses say only the Father’s love motivated Jesus’ death is to, at least partially, divorce Jesus from the Trinity.

When Jesus came to the earth, He was the one and only God-Man. He was fully Man, yes, but also fully God. The Father’s motivations were His motivations.

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

-John 5:19 NKJV

The Son of God on earth did exactly what He saw the Father do. The love the Father has for us is the same love Jesus has for us because the Two of them, with the Holy Spirit, are One.

(Do we comprehend that fully? No. If God didn’t blow our minds sometimes, He wouldn’t be worth worshiping.)

But to make a distinction between the Father’s love and Jesus’ love is hardly worthwhile. The Father was willing to let His Son suffer because He loved us. The Son was willing to suffer because He loved us.

[Jesus said:] “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

“As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. …

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

“No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

-John 10:14-15, 17-18 NKJV

Jesus didn’t have do die. The Father commanded Him, but He “laid it down of Himself” because He wanted the same thing as His Father.

Jesus IS the Good Shepherd, so He lays down His life for His sheep.

Now what about that verse that says Jesus “learned obedience”? Well, let’s have a look at it.

[Jesus], in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,

though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

-Hebrews 5: 7-8 NKJV (emphasis mine)

This was “in the days of Jesus’ flesh.” Jesus hadn’t been a Man before; that was new. Before this, He had always experienced perfect communion, perfect unity with His Father.

Now Jesus had become the God-Man. And the Man-part of Him had to learn obedience. While the God-part of Him was still fully aligned with His Father’s will, the Man-part of Him cried out in anguish, pleading that the pain be taken away.

And Jesus’ Man-part, like all other men and women, had to learn obedience. When our wills pull us away from God’s will—when we want something contrary to what God wants—we have to choose to obey.

So did Jesus.

Now as a writer I fully embrace the notion of multiple motivations. We humans are complex creatures. How much more complex is the God-Man!

So I believe Jesus died for us because He loved us. But when it came down to facing the cross, His flesh did what any flesh would do—it cowered away from the prospect of such unfathomable pain. And thus, when His flesh tried for the upper hand, He had to learn obedience.

But His heart was fully motivated by love.

As my dad so succinctly put it:

Why would Jesus’ primary motivation be something He had to learn (obedience) rather than something that was part of His essence (love)?

As I read a few online articles on this subject, I ran across one on Desiring God. It brought out another interesting point, saying that Jesus’ death was about vindicating God’s righteousness. See, for millennia “in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Romans 3:25).

God’s righteousness was at stake because He’d been letting sin slide by unpunished.

Now the easiest way to vindicate His righteousness would be to say, “That’s it. From now on all humans pay for their own sin. Those who were previously kind of righteous that I let slide by, well, they all go to hell now. They can count themselves blessed that they had several hundred years’ delay before their punishment.”

But God didn’t do that.

God vindicated His righteousness by paying for all those sins Himself.

Because He loved us.

Truly, Christ’s cross is the most powerful picture of pure love anywhere in earth below or heaven above.

-Miss Darcy

My Book Is LIVE! | And Story of the Axe

It’s here, it’s here, it’s HEEEEEEEERE!!!!!! *confetti shower*

Okay, usually I try to behave with decorum, especially on the blog, but today is not the time for it.

The Crown and the Axe is live! And I just realized I’ve never shared the blurb with you here, so….

TCATA Cover Final 2 Web

A careless mistake. A tale from the past. A journey he’ll never forget.

Seventeen-year-old Dierk Lichtensitz, Crown Prince of Sunland, excels in both his physical and educational training. Not that his father is impressed, but Dierk quit trying to please him years ago.

King Phillip Lichtensitz holds high standards for his children—with good reason. So when selfish neglect on Dierk’s part leaves another squire injured, Phillip delivers strict punishment. Dierk must travel the country as a woodcutter’s son.

Resentful of his father’s decision, Dierk resolves to endure his punishment unmoved—until the tales of a long-dead witch’s power force him to reckon with himself and his God.

As the journey leads him into more danger than his father could have ever foreseen, how much will Dierk have to surrender to become the man he needs—and desperately wants—to be?

For Kindle and paperback, hop over to Amazon. For other eBook retailers, try this Universal Book Link. 🙂

Do you mind if I gush about the cover a little more? See, as soon as I started seriously considering doing my own photoshoot, I knew I’d need an ax for a prop. The ax is such a big part of the story, plus it’s part of the title, but clearly it couldn’t be some fiberglass-handled deal that’s common these days.

I did look at the hardware store to see what modern wooden-handled axes looked like, and the blades are rather pretty, but the handles have brand names and fancy grips etched into them. I tried Craigslist and eBay for older ones, but no luck.

So I prayed. I asked the Lord to provide a suitable ax if He willed me to stage my own cover shoot.

And He provided. See, I had volunteered to help at an Outdoor Symposium, a community event designed to help people reconnect with the outdoors. My sisters and I were supposed to lead nature walks for children. There were lots of cool exhibits: the Boy Scouts brought tents, an expert demonstrated firebuilding, a young man showed how to tie different knots, one lady displayed the ten items you need for survival if a hike turns into an emergency. All super-cool.

But the exhibit that attracted my history-loving heart was a table showing vintage camping. The kind of recreational camping popular with Theodore Roosevelt and others. Mark Lewis, of Mark and Debbie Lewis Historical Music, had a wealth of information about camping and surviving in the woods. I could listen to him talk all day. He had old-fashioned gear, an old rifle, and, among other things… an ax. A small one, but a beauty.

So I plucked up my courage and mentioned I was looking for a vintage ax to use in a cover photo for my book. And he offered to let me use his. Said he even had a bigger one at home that he’d be happy to lend me when the time came.

The bigger one was perfect. A lovely old Collins with a label on one side of the handle, so we photographed the other side. 🙂

AXE-1

God is so wonderful, y’all.

And to further demonstrate that, my friend Greg the Hiking Guy (who organized the Outdoor Symposium and is a wealth of knowledge on outdoor survival) had a beautiful piece of property which he let me use for the setting of my photoshoot.

I’m so thankful for people who let God use them to bless others! I could never have published this book without the help of so many friends.

-Miss Darcy

The Crown and the Axe Cover Reveal | Interview with Cover Model

Can you believe it? I’m finally unveiling the cover of my OWN novel! My family can attest to my excitement, but it’s hard to convey through writing. If you picture me alternately wanting to cry and skipping around the house, that should give you an idea.

Are you ready? *cue squeals*

TCATA Cover Final 2 Web

Isn’t it beautiful?!? (Okay, pardon me. I’m like a parent bragging about her baby. OF COURSE I think it’s beautiful.) 🙂

And I’m doubly excited because the picture is no stock photo. I actually got to hire a model, make a costume, and get exactly the picture I wanted for the cover! It’s funny because I had a couple different poses in mind, but once we got out there, my photographer tried this one, and, wow, did it turn out well!

A young man from my church, Tyler Adams, agreed to model for me, and he totally got into the spirit of things and made it so much fun. Tyler is a professional videographer with his own company, Sora Entertainment. He’s also the director and co-producer of the award-winning documentary, Reap What You Sew.

So please welcome Tyler Adams to the blog!


What are your hobbies?

Tyler: I absolutely love watching movies and TV shows. After all, it’s the industry I decided to pursue as a career, but I also enjoy reading books of all genres, as well as playing video games. If you couldn’t tell, I enjoy all forms of entertainment media. I suppose it’s due to my appreciation of human creativity and artistic expression. I love experiencing stories and exploring the imaginative worlds people come up with, and because of that, fantasy and science-fiction are my favorite genres. When I was offered the opportunity to model the leading character of a fantasy novel, I was thrilled!  Additionally, my other hobbies include working out at the gym, writing fictional stories of my own, and occasionally drawing.

(The gym hobby definitely helped him get the job because with a character who wields a sword or an axe all day, he must have decent muscles.)

When you think back to the day of the cover shoot, what memories stick out to you? Did anything particularly funny or uncomfortable happen?

Tyler: I remember it took a long time to get the make-up on my arms. I don’t even know what all was put on me, except for one thing which was dirt. I also remember trying to look as cool as I possibly could. You can’t see it on the cover, but I had an intense look on my face. I tried to embody the character as best as I could as I posed. One thing that kind of bugged me was the dagger on my hip. It kept wanting to move around in different positions, almost as if it had a mind of its own. There I was, trying to look cool for the pictures, but then I would be talking to the dagger, telling it to stay as if it was an obedient dog as I adjusted it between shots.

(Interrupting to say that, yes, his face was very intense. I had told him his face probably wouldn’t end up on the cover, but he didn’t let that stop him from getting fully into character. Sometimes he barely lightened up between shots. It paid off in the final pictures. And that dagger! It was a last minute addition to the costume, and I loved it, but I think it was upside down almost half the time. LOL Anyway…)

How did it feel to spend an afternoon as a model?

Tyler: It felt fantastic to be a model. I loved the costume, and holding the axe made me feel powerful. I didn’t mind the heat of the day nor the numerous poses I had to do. I thought it was such a unique opportunity, and the crew was a lot of fun to be around. I just remember the group constantly having smiles on their faces and talking excitedly. That positive atmosphere really made the whole experience all the more fun.

And, just for fun, let’s see how much you have in common with Dierk, the character you modeled for…

Dierk is the oldest child in his family. How about you?

Tyler: I am an only child. In a way, I suppose I am the oldest and the youngest child in the family.

Dierk takes a journey around his country. Have you traveled much around the U.S.?

Tyler: Traveling is extremely enjoyable for me. Whenever I get the chance to go somewhere new, I take it. I’ve traveled to so many places between the west and east coasts. I’ve toured movie studios in Los Angeles, filmed in the mountains of Colorado and on a beautiful farm in Texas, rode roller coasters down in Orlando and up in Ohio, visited a World War II museum in New Orleans, climbed up the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, and stood atop the Empire State Building, overlooking the city that never sleeps.

Have your friends ever accused you of being stuck-up?

Tyler: Thankfully, no. I try to be as friendly as I can with everyone. I suppose since no one has told me I’m stuck-up it’s a good sign I’m doing something right.

Do you have a lot of self-confidence?

Tyler: I do, and I think taking karate lessons and acting in school plays really helped me build my confidence. Both have definitely helped me gain the confidence to model for a book cover.

How are you at swinging an axe?

Tyler: I’ve only swung an axe once in my life, and I didn’t chop off any of my limbs. So I’d say I’m fairly good at it.

Dierk grinned when I showed him this answer and said he’ll teach you to chop wood if you ever come to Sunland during his days.

Dierk’s favorite method of self-defense is swordplay. What’s yours?

Tyler: Funnily enough, I trained in Iai-do and Japanese swordsmanship for a brief time. I loved it, and I trained myself for a while after that, even competing in open martial arts tournaments and performing in shows for a few years. I’ve even collected a few swords to hang up in my room. I would definitely say that Dierk and I would get along very well over our love of swordplay.

I agree. Dierk might even invite you to test his skill just for fun. I, for one, would love to watch.

Tyler, thank you so much for bringing Dierk to life on the book cover! I’m so thrilled to have a completely unique cover!


Be sure to check out the Reap What You Sew documentary on YouTube. (And if anyone reading this happens to be an author looking for someone to do a book trailer, take a peek at Sora Entertainment’s work.)

Thank you all so much for rejoicing with me! Lord willing, The Crown and the Axe will be published this week. I’ll be sure to let you know the minute it’s properly “live.” (Or you might hear me squealing all the way in Nashville, Tennessee.)

Making this book has been such a long, wonderful, and sometimes frustrating journey. This moment is so big for me. The Lord is so good. I keep playing this song over and over in my head.

Hope you all have a great Monday!

-Miss Darcy

Edited to add purchase links, now that the book’s out: Amazon and other digital platforms. 🙂

Protecting the Poor | Character Interview

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Today I am delighted to present the final book in the Tales of Faith series by Amanda Tero! (Remember when I featured The Secret Slipper?)

Three retellings

Don’t the covers look nice all together? (Okay, maybe everyone doesn’t admire book covers for their own sake like I do.)

PP Blurb

ABOUT THE BOOK
Sheriff Feroci is now lord over the province, and Abtshire has become a pit of injustice. Being forced into the lord’s service does not give Dumphey as many opportunities to help the poor as he desires. When attempts on his life drive him into the forest, this freedom opens a world of possibilities for helping others. But how can he do so when he is running for his life? And does God want him to do more than simply feed the poor?

Noel has always hidden behind the shadow of his older brother, Dumphey. When life forces him to stand on his own, will he still follow God in the corrupt world in which he lives? Would God really call him to do something that is beyond his power to do?

As Lord Feroci’s sinister plot comes to light, each lad has a choice to make. A choice that could cost them their lives.

Find on Amazon. Add to Goodreads.

Or, better yet, you can order a signed paperback copy of Protecting the Poor here!

If you’ve read the first two, then you’ll love seeing old friends in Protecting the Poor, but you don’t have to read them in order. You can dive right into the last book. It’s an excellent story for young readers (ten and up, I’d say), but as with all Amanda’s historical books, I wouldn’t classify it as strictly a “children’s book.”

Now, the things I loved about this story… The medieval setting: it’s a fictional country, but the well-researched details ground you beautifully in the time period (and okay, I’m a little stuck on the Middle Ages). The cool details about archery (I mean, what’s not to love about an old-fashioned longbow?). The characters: as mentioned, it was fun to see characters from the previous books, but the new ones were great too, all with their own personalities. The deep themes: forgiveness, vengeance, active obedience to God, and the excellent, oft-asked question, “Do the ends ever justify the means?”

In short, this book made me think, and that’s one of the highest compliments I can give a story.

And now, one of Dumphey’s friends has agreed to join us on the blog today!


Betin, thank you so much for visiting with us. You earned my respect as I read Protecting the Poor, and I’m delighted you’ve agreed to answer a few questions about the story.

1) When Dumphey first meets you, you have been living in the forest for some time. What caused you to take refuge there?

I used to help at the candlemaker’s shop with my sister, Lydda. After our father passed on (Mother passed when we were babes), Sheriff Feroci was holding me to unjust taxes higher than I could afford. He threatened to drive me to the barracks to make me pay, but I couldn’t do that to Lydda. Being hidden away in the forest was safer than the threats of a soldier’s life.

2) In your estimation, what is Dumphey’s greatest weakness? What is his greatest strength?

Dumphey is a great friend. To some, the way he naturally assumes leadership or voices his opinion could be seen as a weakness. To me, it was a great blessing. His strength is definitely in being bold to do what he believes he ought to.

3) Why did you think Dumphey would make a good leader for your band?

Dumphey made me realize how inactive I had truly been. We were hiding from Lord Feroci, yes, but he made me yearn to push forward and actually do more than just hide and prepare. He knew what steps to take next and was also bold enough to stand up for what was right even when very few of the group agreed. He was a natural choice for the leader of our band.

4) If you could have one wish come true, anything, what would you choose?

My greatest wish is peace on earth. That there would be no Feroci’s to fight against. No Abtshire to flee from. No tyranny.

5) Is there anything else you would like to share with readers of this story?

Glean from the lesson of hope and courage in “Protecting the Poor” and apply it to your own lives. I think, in some small way, everyone has an Abtshire situation they face in their lives.


About the Author
Amanda Tero began her love for words at a young age—reading anything she could get her hands on and penning short stories as young as age eight. Since graduation, she has honed her writing skills by dedicated practice and study of the writing craft. She began her journey of publication with a few short stories that she had written for her sisters and continues to add to her collection with other short stories, novellas, and novels. It is her utmost desire to write that which not only pleases her Lord and Savior, but also draws the reader into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

You can connect with Amanda through her website, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, her blog, Goodreads, and Amazon.

GIVEAWAY
It wouldn’t be a release party without a giveaway! One U.S. Winner will receive the complete paperback Tales of Faith series, and one International Winner will receive the complete eBook series.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if you haven’t checked out the first two books in the series, you really should.

 

Befriending the Beast Blurb.jpg

Find on Amazon.

Secret Slipper Blurb

Find on Amazon.

Hope you enjoyed this peek at Amanda’s newest book!

-Miss Darcy

Shout-out to all the wonderful bloggers who are participating in the release of Protecting the Poor!

Monday – August 26, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Protecting the Poor Release Post

Life of Heritage Corner – Interview, Review, Giveaway

Great Books for God’s Girls – Interview, Review

Peculiar Miss Darcy – Character Interview

Honey Rock Hills – Review

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

Tuesday – August 27, 2019

We’ve Got Pockets – Review

Maidens for Modesty – Giveaway, Guest Post

A Brighter Destiny – Spotlight

Wednesday – August 28, 2019

Soldier Girl Stories – Interview

Purposeful Learning – Spotlight, Guest Post

Thursday – August 29, 2019

Rachel Rossano’s Words – Spotlight, Guest Post

In the Bookcase – Review, Giveaway

Friday – August 30, 2019

Losing the Busyness – Spotlight, Review, Giveaway

Resting Life – Guest Post

Saturday – August 31, 2019

Blossoms and Blessings – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post

God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae – Review

Reading on the Edge – Spotlight

Verbosity Reviews – Spotlight, Review, Guest Post, Giveaway

Monday – September 2, 2019

With a Joyful Noise – Giveaway Winner Announced

Do you want to be involved in Amanda’s next release?

Cover Reveal

Wedding Score is open for reviewers, bloggers, and influencers. Sign up here.

Redeeming Joseph’s Brothers

The New Testament has many glorious verses about how the grace of God through Jesus Christ can redeem anyone, no matter how far they’ve fallen. Verses like,

Therefore He [Jesus] is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

-Hebrews 7:25 NKJV (emphasis mine)

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

-Colossians 2:13-14 NKJV (emphasis mine)

Truly, the power of Christ to redeem a soul is wondrous.

No matter what sin we’ve fallen into, God can pull us out. He can change our innermost souls from utterly selfish beings to what humans were designed to be. He can give us new hearts that actually desire goodness more than self-gratification.

But His redemptive power does not only extend to our souls. It also extends to our past actions.

This is where He blows me away.

To explain what I mean, let’s look at the story of Joseph in Genesis. Or, more accurately, let’s look at the story of Joseph’s brothers.

Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, and Zebulun were ten brothers of a father who showed favoritism to their know-it-all little brother Joseph. That got old really fast. One day when the ten were out leading their father’s flocks to good pasture, the father sent Joseph to see how they were doing.

And the ten older brothers decided to get even. They captured Joseph, and several of them advocated killing him outright. (You wanna talk about dysfunctional…) But the oldest brother Reuben said that was a bad idea, and he convinced them to toss Joseph into a pit, planning to secretly rescue his younger brother and send him home to their father. (I still wonder whether Reuben was motivated by compassion, or whether he was trying to gain his father’s favor since he was seriously out of favor for an earlier sin he committed. Anyway…)

So they gathered near the pit to eat lunch, but someone had to go check on the flocks, and apparently the oldest got elected. While Reuben was gone, along came a band of Ishmaelite traders. And Judah said, “Wait a minute. There’s no profit in killing this kid. Let’s sell him.” So they sold their brother as a slave for twenty silver shekels. Divvies up nicely between ten brothers.

Reuben was horrified when he found out, but there was no going back. So the ten brothers tore Joseph’s beautiful, colorful coat and dipped it in goat’s blood. This evidence they gave to their father as proof that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast.

For the sake of time, I can’t get into all Joseph’s adventures and misadventures in Egypt. (Genesis 39-41) Suffice it to say that God was with Joseph. At the end of it all, Joseph became second-highest ruler in the land, in charge of collecting grain to store up for a coming famine, of which God had warned Pharaoh in two dreams.

When the famine came, it didn’t only strike Egypt. Hunger raged through all the surrounding lands — including Joseph’s homeland. Joseph’s father heard how Egypt had somehow managed to store up tons of extra grain, so he sent his sons to buy them food.

In Egypt, Joseph recognized his brothers. But it had been at least twelve years, quite possibly more, and the ten brothers didn’t recognize their brother in this grand Egyptian lord who had the right to grant or deny them food.

Joseph now had the power to punish his brothers, kill them if he liked. Instead, he put them through an elaborate scheme of pretty rough tests, to see if they had repented of the way they treated him. (Genesis 42-44)

Turns out they had. All those years of watching their father’s grief had finally softened their hearts.

So Joseph revealed his identity and brought his whole family to Egypt, where he settled them in good land and provided for them during the rest of the famine.

Now you probably know that story forward and backward if you were raised in church.

There is so much depth and symbolism and instruction in Joseph’s life, not to mention it’s just plain a good story.

But here’s one thing I didn’t notice until I was a lot older:

  • Joseph was able to help his brothers because he ruled Egypt
  • Joseph was able to become ruler because he was in Egypt when Pharaoh needed him
  • Joseph was in Egypt because he had come as a slave
  • Joseph was a slave because his brothers had sold him

So Joseph was able to help his brothers because his brothers had sold him as a slave.

Think about that. Was it good that Judah and the others sold their seventeen-year-old brother? No, of course not. It was a horrible thing to do. They sinned.

But God was involved. He had a plan for Joseph’s life, and He worked so that even the degrading status of “slave” led to being second-highest ruler in Egypt.

Could God have gotten Joseph to Egypt by another, better way? Of course. Was He pleased with Joseph’s brothers’ sin? Certainly not.

But get this: God is so big that even our sinful actions themselves can be redeemed for good.

Joseph himself put it this way to his brothers:

“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

-Genesis 50:20 NKJV

To save many people. Including the ones that sold their savior.

Just because He’s God and He can, the Lord used the brothers’ sin as one step in the journey to their own salvation.

That blows my mind, friends. Truly, nothing is beyond redemption for our God.

No matter what we’ve done, we can repent and God can use us. He might even take our sin and somehow make something good out of it. He doesn’t always. But sometimes, in His mercy, He does.

I can hardly believe that. But Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, and Zebulun testify that it is so.

-Miss Darcy

The Jesus Car | Character Interview

Y’all, I’ve been looking forward to featuring this book on my blog for a very long time. I read some of the early drafts because the author, Pam Green, is my critique partner. But honestly, it was hard to “critique” because the story itself was so inspiring to me.

Curious what it might look like to live sold-out to Jesus in the twenty-first century? Well, The Jesus Car offers some pretty cool possibilities.

So, please let me present:

Jesus-Car-front-cover

Holly Bush, a young P. E. teacher most at home on the volleyball court, lets friends rope her into participating in her church’s Adopt-a-Grandparent program. She wants to grow in her relationship with God. True, but does that mean facing her fear of infirmity, too?

By the time she’s finished the rigorous training, she’s too invested to quit.

Her grandparent match is a feisty gentleman who claims he left a career in real estate to live life on faith and a shoestring. The “Old Fool” of The Fisherman’s Place has an unsettling knack for working Jesus into every conversation.

When Holly’s eccentric new grandfather gives her an unusual gift with strings attached, it will likely change her life and the lives of her friends, colleagues, and students.

But is she up to the challenge?

Pam-Green-PhotoPam Green made her writing début in fifth grade when drafted to write the class play, Ghosts! Ghosts! Ghosts! At twelve, she fell in love with the French language. After a satisfying teaching career, she still peeks in the windows of empty schools while traveling and lingers in school supply aisles in August. Her stories show that God is always working in the lives of His children and seeking new members of His family.

Not everyone is going to be called to drive a Jesus car. Every Christian’s witnessing style will be different because the Holy Spirit guides us into different methods based on the abilities God created in us.

But every Christian is called to be a walking Gospel, a light shining in a dark place, an unashamed witness for the Truth.

I’m still figuring out how that’s supposed to look in my life. The Jesus Car encouraged me.

So, yes, I recommend you pick up a copy of this book and enjoy the ride with Holly and a wonderful cast of true-to-life characters!

And speaking of characters, let me introduce you to Jeff, one of Holly’s friends from The Jesus Car.


Jeff, thank you so much for visiting with us! I enjoyed meeting you in The Jesus Car, and I’m delighted you’ve agreed to answer a few questions about the story.

Jeff: It’s nice to meet you, Darcy. Holly follows your blog, and she’s looking forward to reading your next book.

What, she reads the blog? I’m waving to you Holly!

1) You and Holly seem to be a couple when the story begins. How long have you known her and how did you meet?

Jeff: Let’s see. I met her in the singles group at COP– Church on the Parkway. It was shortly after she moved into the area to take a job at Sully High School. Our mutual friend Faith took Holly under her wing, so to speak, and introduced her around. Holly started going out to lunch with the lunch bunch after church on Sunday. We discussed the day’s sermon—and other things, of course. We were both tired of the dating scene, we just hung out in the group and got to know each other as we got to know the Lord.

I guess our first “date” was when I took her to Luigi’s. Love that place. Even then I didn’t dare call it a date because I didn’t want to scare her off. Actually, we knew each other pretty well by then, so maybe she wanted to be an official couple as much as I did. I should ask her one of these days.

I haven’t answered your question, have I? Let’s just say I feel like I’ve known her forever. She’s like a sister—she is a sister—as much as a girlfriend.

2) In your estimation, what is Holly’s greatest weakness? What is her greatest strength?

Jeff: Huh? You really want me to talk about her greatest weakness? Remember, she reads your blog!

I guess it’s safe to share what she mentions all the time to her friends. She tends to forget how strong she is in Christ—that what she thinks is a weakness, like being shy and insecure outside the athletic arena, is where he is going to make her strong. She’s way more aware of that now than BC. That’s Before the Car.

Strengths? She’s got so many. She’s very loyal and committed. She may have been nervous about the Adopt-a-Grandparent program, but once she made up her mind to do it, she was all in. I think the Holy Spirit cued her granddad into that, and that’s why he did what he did.

Before the Car. Love that!

3) When you first heard that Holly had inherited a Jesus Car, what was your initial reaction? Did you think it’s an out-dated way to evangelize?

Jeff: I knew her granddad, so the Jesus Car didn’t surprise me. Just like the other experiences she’d had with him, I knew driving it would stretch her, so I was all for it. An outdated way to evangelize? Funny. Never really thought about it. I know Holly felt she should just go about her business and listen to the Holy Spirit—follow His prompts—and that’d be enough. I don’t think she ever felt any pressure to evangelize. Know what I mean?

I think I do. 🙂

4) How did you feel when you finally drove the Jesus Car yourself?

Jeff: I was beginning to be seriously in awe of Holly at that point. Sometimes it was hard to stay focused on the Lord when I was with her. Between awe and love, you know? I knew that if I drove the car, I’d have to get back to basics and depend on Him myself. With His help, I did it. And I got my head screwed on a little tighter.

5) If you could have one thing in the world, anything, what would you choose?

Jeff: A thing? Like a possession? Give me a break. I can’t win with that question. Seriously, though, I care more about people than things. Kind of a misfit in our generation, maybe.

Maybe so. But I wouldn’t say that’s a bad thing.

6) Is there anything else you would like to share with readers of this story?

Jeff: Hmm. I don’t have a scoop, if that’s what you mean. Holly and I are trying to follow the Lord’s leading day by day. He’s the one who knows what the future holds for both of us.

Thanks once again for joining us, Jeff, and for answering all my nosy questions!


I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I do. Go check it out on Amazon!

And if you visit Pam’s website, you can subscribe to her mailing list and keep up with her latest book news, or subscribe to her blog for some real-life encouragement in walking with Jesus.

-Miss Darcy