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05 January 2011

Fiction at its Fullest

Reading in bed late one night, maimed hero Packer Throme and I leaned over the bow of the ship, Trophy Chase, and peered into an ocean bubbling with massive firefish bent on devouring every human on board. But God had called us to a task—Packer, to lead his ship in fighting off pirates and  hungry sea creatures and me, to crawl out of bed every morning and care for the little people in my life. But with our physical limitations, the tasks were impossible to accomplish. Packer’s hand had been rendered useless, and my entire body throbbed with the pain of a degenerative disease.

Then God’s Word, printed on the page in black and white, cut through our doubts and fears. “You are not your own,” it shouted a whisper as it sliced at our excuses. “You were bought at a price…my Blood, my own suffering…” Christ’s pain had never held such meaning.  “…therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Which are God’s, which are God’s, which are God’s. The words struck deep, penetrating my soul with their truth.

God owned me. All of me. 


He created me, and then, with Christ’s death on the cross, He bought me. And at such a steep price, He’ll surely take care of me. I would, if I’d paid that much for someone.

With my tears of repentance came the Spirit’s comfort. In that moment, God’s presence was as palpable to me as the book in my trembling hands. Like a heated blanket draped gently over my shoulders, God encompassed me and instilled in me a calm, assurance of love and provision I cannot begin to describe. 

No one could ever convince me that God does not exist or that God’s Word is not alive or that Christian fiction is mere entertainment.

At Clash of the Titles our focus is Christian fiction. Why? Because we believe God can use such a simple and non-invasive tool as fiction to touch lives. He can, and he does.

 Everything else is just entertainment.

During this first Clash of the year, we’re celebrating new life in Christ. Through the centuries, souls have been touched and reached for Christ in myriad ways. Like many other Christian writers, our featured authors write with the prayer that someone might come to know Christ through reading their books. We’ll hear their testimonies next week, but today, we’d love to hear from you.

If you’ve experienced God on any level while reading Christian fiction, please tell us your story using the comments section below. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in the drawing. (yep, another chance at these great books!)

If you haven’t had a chance to vote, you may still do so by going HERE.

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Michelle Massaro said... Wednesday, 05 January, 2011

Great article, April! This gave me goosebumps!

Francine Rivers's Mark of the Lion series changed my walk with the Lord. I remember dreaming about the characters and longing to have Hadassah become a living friend who could mentor me in my faith. I was often convicted of my own self-centeredness while reading and learned to have an eternal perspective which put my small problems in their proper place. I can't say the lesson has been perfectly learned, but I can say it still colors my view on hardships, personal sacrifice, and loving others with God's love.

The scene that has left and indelible mark on my spirit shows Hadassah as the only slave willing to step in the help their cruel mistess. She rushes into the room where her mistress is being beaten by her abusive husband. She covers her with her own body and takes the blows herself instead. Hadassah never stopped loving, no matter how undeserved. I've never been more inspired to let the Holy Spirit love through me. It still brings tears to my eyes. =)

Lorilyn Roberts said... Wednesday, 05 January, 2011

Wonderful writing, and inspirational. Thanks for lifting up my spirits today.

Elaine Marie Cooper said... Wednesday, 05 January, 2011

I cried my way through one of Karen Kingsbury's books (I've read so many I can't remember the title!). It involved a baby girl that died and it showed the way God was there not only to comfort in this terrible loss, but to use the girl's life to glorify Him. I was SO grateful that Karen had not chosen to shy away from this painful reality in life, but took on the challenge of teaching the reader valuable truths in our Christian walk. Having lost a daughter of my own, I thank Karen heartily for using the pain in her story to minister to me and so many others in my shoes.

Marianne Evans said... Wednesday, 05 January, 2011

Elaine, the book was "Summer," part of her Baxter series...and I'm with you. I have never, every had an author - Christian or otherwise, impact me like Karen Kingsbury. I devour her books, and the messages of faith and God's overwhelming grace that she so skillfully provides. I am in awe of her talent, and the beautiful way she uses it to glorify God. As an author, she's my role model. Period.

Delia Latham said... Wednesday, 05 January, 2011

Amazing post, April! I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my skin. You've managed to beautifully depict the kind of reaction I hope every inspirational author yearns to elicit in readers. The story is never just a story - it's a message, always - at least, for me it is. I aim to uplift and encourage my readers, to pick them above whatever storm they might be facing in their lives, and help them see the sunshine awaiting on the other side of the gale. Again...fabulous post! I am immensely impressed!

April Gardner said... Wednesday, 05 January, 2011

I totally agree with you, Michelle! Francine Rivers is at the top of my "touch your heart" list. Especially her Mark of the Lion. It's been over 10 years since I read it. I should really pick it up again!
Elaine, I'm praising God alongside you for Karen K's courage to write a difficult subject and that it blessed your spirit. I can only imagine that no one has experienced the depth of grief the way a mother who's lost her child how, the way you have. Bless you, sweet lady.
Lorilyn, Marianne, thanks for stopping by today! And Delia, all the glory to God!

Elisa Maria said... Thursday, 06 January, 2011

Good article, April.

Item Reviewed: Fiction at its Fullest Rating: 5 Reviewed By: April Gardner