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Preview: Stories for the hero in all of us

Stories for the hero in all of us





Updated: 2018-03-05T08:12:43.134-08:00

 



3 Ways to Restore a Sense of Wonder

2015-10-30T06:58:53.498-07:00



Restoring Wonder


Day to day life has a way of making us feel jaded. Many of the tasks that demand our effort can feel mundane or frustrating, and far from wondrous.

As I read Psalm 9 this morning, I stopped on the word "wonders" and pondered how to restore the joyous awe that can fuel my soul.

Three things came to mind from recent experiences.

1. Noticing beauty in the world God created. 

The photo is from a recent trip to the north shore. But we can spot amazing nature in our own backyards. A leaf. A cloud. A raindrop. They all coax us to praise God for what He's made.

2. Marveling in other humans that God designed.

We have a new grandson, and each picture of him, each sound of his cry over the phone line fills me with awe. New babies are an easy source of wonder. But so are friends, family, even strangers. The relentless uniqueness. The precious points of connection. The mystery of love. Relationships also call us to praise.

3. Worshiping the One who loves us completely.

Time spent focusing on God can work deep change in our spirits. In a gathering with others to sing and praise. As we read God's love letter to us in Scripture. In our quiet moments of prayer. Soon, like the Psalmist, we find we are once again praising Him with all our hearts.

Lord, open our eyes and our souls to Your wonders! Amen.

Would you like to move toward more wonder at God's interaction in our lives? I invite you to download and explore this free devotional guide that digs into the amazing ways God uses ordinary people on extraordinary faith journeys.



    Blessings!
    Sharon Hinck



Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Lukyan

2015-10-29T08:38:19.755-07:00

After Chapter 14Lukyan:Wade and Jake left my cottage in such a hurry they didn’t slide the door closed. Bracing myself against my chair arms, I eased to my feet. Each of my bones grumbled a reminder of my age as they took my weight. I was too old for all this chaos and danger.I limped to the doorway and looked out at the trees. “Holy One, is it time for me to come home yet?” I whispered. “I long to serve where you need me, but the times are growing so dark, and my strength is growing frail. I’m ready to join You now. Look into my heart. It’s breaking with the knowledge that Your people are being deceived.” I slid the door, shutting out the view of Braide Wood, wishing I could shut out the vivid picture of the clans trapped in confusion and doubt. Why would the One have allowed Cameron to create false Verses? How could He expect the people to know whom to follow? Had my counsel to Jake helped? I rejoiced in the young man’s passion to protect the true Records, but could such an untried youth stand against so many powerful enemies? You were an untried youth once, too.The gentle reminder tugged a smile from my lips. “You’re right, Blessed One. Jake doesn’t walk alone, and neither do I. Will you join me for my meal?”I took a small bread loaf from the basket on my table. Tara had brought them over yesterday. Always thinking of others, even when supplies were scarce. Indulging in a small luxury, I set the loaf on a heat trivet. Tara’s bread was already delicious, but warming it filled my home with a yeasty, nutty scent. Picking it up, I tore the loaf in half and lifted the pieces. “Creator of this fragile flesh, Sustainer of my life’s brief length, Provider of all humble needs, I thank you for this gift of strength.”The childhood prayer comforted me. Some songkeepers were sure that the longer we lived, the more we would understand the Verses, grow in character, and follow the One with faithfulness and purity. I took a small bite and chewed slowly. A lovely theory. My love for the One did grow with years of knowing Him. But my failings became even more obvious to me, more frustrating, more ingrained. And the more glimpses I had of the One’s work, the more I longed to see Him face to face, away from the shroud of this troubled world. My old teacher often told me that straining to see around the next bend in the road would cause me to stumble over the stones on my current path.Carrying my bread and a mug of lukewarm clavo, I settled into my chair. Each songkeeper felt a unique calling to various aspects of the Verses. Many loved teaching, studying, reviewing, and analyzing the meaning of the genealogies and the parts of the Records that looked to the past. Others drew joy from the practical counsel and rules for serving the One and others in each present day. But I’d always been most intrigued with the Verses that looked to the future. The Deliverer who would come.As a young songkeeper, I asked the One each day when that promise would be fulfilled. As a grown man, seeing ever growing threats against our clans, I asked again, often with earnest tears. In recent seasons as danger piled upon danger, I continued to ask. Each time, I heard a quiet voice answer, “Soon.”More of a habit than a new conversation, I asked again. “Creator of our land, Protector of our people, how much worse must we face before You come as our Deliverer? Isn’t it time?”Before you draw your last breath, Child. You will see the Deliverer.The morsel of bread caught in my throat and I coughed so hard, I doubled over. Fumbling for my mug, I gulped some liquid, wiped the tears from my eyes. Had I heard correctly? I knew the only sensible response to the One’s words was, “Let it be so.”But this answer was so unexpected, so specific. The skin rose on the back of my neck. My limbs trembled, as they sometimes had when the mist lowered on worshippers in the Lyric tower. “What? When? How can that be? Have you noticed how old I am? Do you mean I’ll see a vision of Him? You ca[...]



His Voice

2015-10-14T08:47:19.323-07:00


Lord, You speak to us in whispers and thunders, through the might and beauty of nature, and the quiet compassion of a friend. Help us to hear You today. Amen.

Blessings!
Sharon Hinck



The View From Here

2015-10-13T09:12:34.538-07:00


On a recent hike, my stamina was exhausted and I lay flat on the trail to rest. When I recovered enough to open my eyes, I was astounded by the view of golden birch leaves against a clear autumn sky.

There are times when problems flatten us and knock the stuffing from us. But even when we're prone, weak, and empty, God can coax us to look up. He can help us discover beauty from the midst of our pain. Those glimpses of beauty encourage our souls as they remind us of His power and love.

How is your view today?

Blessings!
Sharon Hinck
www.sharonhinck.com



Loud Clashing Symbols

2015-09-23T08:43:42.925-07:00


Loud Clashing Symbols

One Sunday we sang the hymn, "Earth and All Stars."

The second verse proclaims - "Trumpet and pipes! Loud clashing cymbals! Sing to the Lord a new song!"

But the person who typed the lyrics for the screen projector wrote, "Loud clashing symbols."

I got the giggles. I poked my poor hubby and whispered, "It's like a comment from one of my critique buddies telling me I'm mixing metaphors. Clashing symbols. Get it?"

I was giggling all day. Maybe it's just warped writer humor, but I love the image of my writing being full of loud symbols that offer the Lord a new song.

Do you ever find delight in a typo?

Blessings,
Sharon Hinck



Schaeffer on Art

2015-09-22T04:52:24.679-07:00





Conquer

2015-09-21T06:57:06.882-07:00


When each day dawns with a new mountain to climb, it helps to remember that we are loved, that we never travel alone, and that our strength comes from the Savior who has conquered every evil.

What is your daunting challenge today?

Dear Lord, we need You. Help us to more than conquer each hardship today because of Your love and mighty presence in us. Amen.

Blessings!
Sharon Hinck



Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Wade

2015-09-18T04:00:06.165-07:00

After Chapter 11Wade:The path from Braide Wood to the transport was rock-strewn and hard under my feet. Usually the sounds of small creatures created happy whispers throughout the woods. Today the silence was as cold as angry lips pressed together. Even the trees seemed to droop. So much had changed since Cameron became king.I reached a familiar bend in the trail and rubbed the scars on my arm. Each time I strode past this place, I remembered the night the bear attacked our small group. A grin broke through my gloom. Now that was an enemy I knew how to fight.Give me a bear over Council politics any day. I could carry a heavy load, or swing a sword long after everyone else tired. But the planning, the strategies, the heavy choices I’d seen Tristan have to make…those weren’t for me. These days, strength, courage, and loyalty were no longer enough. I wanted to help Jake, but was this the best way to do it? Would he be safe back at camp with the group of suspicious guardians? I wanted to serve the clans, but was it right to keep our men together secretly when the king had ordered the guardians disbanded? The questions baffled me.I hitched up my sword belt and clambered over a fallen tree branch in the path. Sorting out the answers was better left to smarter men. Yet here I was, on my way to skulk around the city of Lyric.Again. When Cameron’s men grabbed Susan from Braide Wood that first season, Tristan sent me to protect her. I spent days prowling the back alleys of Lyric, asking questions in a way that I’d hoped was subtle, and poking around dark underground rooms.When I finally caught up to Susan, I accidentally walloped Markkel over the head. That’s what comes of sending a simple guardian to deal with complicated plots. He’d eventually warmed up to me. Even asked me to be his house protector. The weight of my pack lightened. I lengthened my stride. Markkel’s family needed my protection. That much was clear.When I reached the transport stop, I gazed up and down the tarred road. With so many other changes in our clans, I couldn’t assume anything. If they were no longer running, I’d have a hike of many days to reach Lyric. I paced the paved road, listening to the glum silence while I waited.Thankfully, the midday transport glided up before the afternoon rains started. It was empty. Rendor families no longer traveled past Braide Wood on their way to the other clans. The emptiness was an eerie reminder that none of us were sure what had happened to all those families. Cameron said they were happily sharing their land with the Kahlareans. Even I wasn’t gullible enough to believe that.I sank onto a lonely bench. Perhaps I’d find Susan rallying councilmembers as she did before the battle of Morsal Plains. Maybe she’d be able to convince the king to reinstate the guardians. If anyone could, it would be her. But our people were angry and confused. What if they blamed her for leaving? I rested my hand on my sword hilt. My head ached. I was thinking too much again.Linette would remind me that problems were often beyond our intellect to solve, and that we were meant to rely on the One’s wisdom instead. I scratched my head. But would she tell me it was right to rescue a former Restorer from our current king? They were both appointed by the One, weren’t they? I whistled an off key tune as wheels hummed a steady rhythm, and trees and steep ridges gave way to gentler hills. Gradually a melody formed, and the words spun free from the clutter and confusion in my brain.Awesome in majesty, perfect in power. I leaned back against the bench. Of course. Cameron might be king, but even a king could make mistakes. The One was the only true king. This situation that was so confusing wasn’t too complex for Him.“Show me my next step,” I whispered. “And protect the men while I’m away. Oh, and Jake. I have a hunch he[...]



Refreshed

2015-09-16T08:32:17.331-07:00


Dear Lord, on days when our bodies, minds, or hearts are weary, we rejoice in the gift of Your presence. You are the Water of Life, and today we invite You to refresh us. Turn our souls to You, so we are open to receive Your grace. Amen.

Blessings,
Sharon Hinck



One Minute of Inspiration

2015-09-14T04:30:01.546-07:00


For Christian writers and readers who love speculative fiction, here is a one minute video from my publisher at Enclave to inspire and encourage you. You might recognize a cover or two. ;-)


Blesssings!
Sharon Hinck





Bonus Scene - Restorer's Journey - Mark

2015-09-11T05:30:25.120-07:00

 After chapter 6Mark:Dust floated uncaring from the rafters. I reached my arm toward the empty space where my son had stood seconds before. Gone. My heart pounded, sending a jarring pulse against my broken ribs. I grabbed the nearest portal stone, shifted its position, and realigned it with the others. No subtle vibration, no tingling tug of the portal, no hint of life. I picked up the others. The stones were dead weight in my hands.I’d been ready to die in the effort to reach Susan—but I hadn’t been ready for this. Shut out, facing horrible emptiness. And now Jake was gone, too.“No!” The cry tore open my cut lip and I tasted blood. I crumpled to the plywood floor. Bones grated. Bruises throbbed. But the pain was nothing compared to the raw horror in my soul.For weeks I’d contemplated destroying the portal stones, and then worked on ways to alter or control them. Anything to keep Cameron and Medea from returning to harm the clans. Even after Cameron and Medea invaded our house, I thought by purposely misaligning the stones I could hinder them. After they surprised me and dragged Susan with them, Jake had to snap me out of my shock. We formed another new plan. And now I faced another disaster.Jake was gone, too. Lost, unreachable. In danger. Like Susan.Susan’s journal rested on the chair we’d set up for her quiet refuge. It seemed years ago that she’d smiled at me, thanking me again and again for building this space, for finding some tangible way to help her with her inner pain. I inched toward it. My Council tunic caught on a nail head, and I tugged it free. I’d love to tear the entire thing apart, along with all the choices that had led to this moment. Instead I picked up her journal and hugged it against my chest. “Lord, bring her back to me.” The longing was so deep, I could only whisper the words.I gently set the journal back on her chair. Time to find a solution.First, I tried every improbable trick I could think of to activate the portal. Placing the old plastic sword between the stones produced no reaction. Tossing a ball across the space triggered nothing. Stepping in and out of the space and re-positioning the portal stones again and again did nothing.Next, I brought the stones down to my basement workbench and pulled out my tools. I tinkered for hours, looking for clues in the hidden mechanisms that could bring them back to life. My worries swung between Susan and Jake. At least when Jake went through the portal, the stones weren’t misaligned. And he wasn’t in the company of Cameron and Medea. What was Susan going through?Hours later, I rubbed my eyes, as my tools and the workbench slipped in and out of focus. My whole body was one throbbing ache, and now I was swaying on my feet from exhaustion.I took the stones and a sleeping bag back up to the attic. In the past, our sojourns through the portal had taken little time in this world. Susan and Jake could return at any moment. Or perhaps they’d be able to send a message somehow. Until they did, I needed to stay close. I unrolled the sleeping bag and curled up, ears straining for any hopeful sound. If I couldn’t sleep beside my wife, at least I’d sleep beside this fragile link that I had to her.As the darkness settled around me, my desperate hope provided cold comfort.[...]



Goodreads Giveaway

2015-09-10T07:24:34.143-07:00



Goodreads Book Giveaway



The Deliverer

by Sharon Hinck


Giveaway ends September 29, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.



Enter Giveaway




Wings of the Dawn

2015-08-28T04:40:00.531-07:00


"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast." Psalm 139:9-10 (NIV)

Lord, when I feel lost, forgotten, or invisible, remind me that You know where I am, that you remember me in your love, and that You see every struggle in my heart. Thank You for holding me today. Amen.



To Utter the Unutterable

2015-08-27T09:13:24.500-07:00


On days when I ask myself (again) why I write novels, I try to remember this:

"As Christians, we constantly struggle to utter the unutterable. We long to share concepts beyond our human ability to understand--the transcendence of God's holiness, the potency of forgiveness, the depth of God's love for us. Fiction helps us find ways to express those truths of magnitude because it is relatable, symbolic, and engages the emotion--unique qualities that make it a vital art form."

    ---Sharon Hinck in A Novel Idea: Best Advice on Writing Inspirational Fiction



Ode to my Laptop

2015-08-25T04:50:00.841-07:00





My laptop is in the shop, and I miss it. So I wrote a little free verse about it.
(With apologies to William Carols William's "Red Wheelbarrow" )

so much depends
upon

a silver
laptop

sticky with
fingerprints

beside a blank
page

    ---Sharon Hinck



Unworthy

2015-08-24T08:48:43.176-07:00





Winners!

2015-08-21T08:12:43.043-07:00





Two winners!

Thanks to everyone who participated in my recent contest by sharing posts about my new book, The Deliverer. Since I appreciate your efforts so much, I decided to give away TWO prizes instead of one. Using a random number generator, one name was chosen from my blog post comments, and one from my Facebook contest. Congratulations Anjanette and Elizabeth! I'll be contacting you to get your address and will mail you your copy of Renovating Becky Miller.

If you entered and didn't win this time, take heart! Next week I'll be starting a super deluxe giveaway on Goodreads, so be sure to look for that one.

Blessings!
Sharon Hinck