Dear Reading Friend, this is David Telbat and I have some exciting news for you! My new RESOLUTION Series has gone LIVE! And, you can getRESOLUTION BOOK ONE for FREE right NOW thru July 24th! Click the title link to find direct retailer links for all four novellas!
And I’m calling today Short Story Day since I’m bringing you a new short story for your reading enjoyment. I wrote this story to remind Christians that it’s okay not to fit the world’s mold or expectations. We belong to a different kingdom—the Kingdom of God. It’s okay when we’re shunned or alienated. We have Christ! Following Him won’t always be comfortable or lead to honor in this world, but we nevertheless bring Him glory for eternity. I hope this story means something to you.
Don’t Fit the Mold
by D.I. Telbat
Mike Hamblin sat quietly through a dinner meal at the ritzy restaurant and watched his co-workers do their best to impress CEO Marc Gormund seated at the opposite end of the table. The CEO had ordered alcohol before the food was served, so everyone else ordered alcohol as well. Except for Mike. He was a Christian who chose not to drink.
It wasn’t the first time Mike had chosen a different path than his co-workers. At the office, he often stepped away when someone was telling crude jokes at the water cooler. Or he stayed at his desk when everyone else rallied around a computer screen to view some seductive video. Since he was the most productive worker on his floor, his immediate supervisor hadn’t fired him, but he knew he wasn’t well-liked. He didn’t fit the mold of the others.
Although Mike was familiar with being excluded from the social aspects of his office—since no one bothered to include him any longer—he was especially uncomfortable on this night. His co-workers, as well as their supervisor, were drunk and making fools of themselves in front of CEO Gormund. Meanwhile, the CEO—an elderly gentleman that Mike had only seen once before in the building—hadn’t actually touched his glass of alcohol.
Perusing the dining room, Mike noticed a woman at a table, alone and weeping. Hadn’t she been eating with a young man moments earlier? Mike had been married for fourteen years, and he imagined his own wife as a young lady in such a state of distress. No one seemed to be approaching the poor girl to see if she was alright.
Mike rose from his chair. No one at his table seemed to notice, or said anything to him. He weaved through the dining tables and knelt on one knee next to the small table where the woman sat. She was a plain girl in her early twenties. With her hand, she covered half her face as she sobbed quietly.
“I’m sorry, miss. Is there something I can do for you? My name is Mike. My wife’s not here right now, but she would want me to check on you. Can I be of help?”
“My date left me.” She used a napkin to wipe her eyes and face. “He said I wasn’t his type, and then he left without paying! Look at this bill. And I don’t have any money!”
“Okay . . .” Mike ran his eyes down the ticket. “Oh! Well, the money we can take care of, but your broken heart is another matter. Maybe if this guy is such a creep, he’s not worth crying over, right?”
She nodded, beginning to collect herself.
“Come on.” Mike rose to his feet and held out his hand to the woman. “Let’s take care of your bill and get you a taxi, okay?”
In a few minutes, Mike had paid the hefty bill, then saw the woman to a taxi outside at the curb. She hadn’t thought to offer him thanks, but Mike didn’t let it bother him. He knew she had other things on her mind.
When he turned back to join the loud men at his table, his business’s CEO met him halfway across the room. Mr. Gormund was an intimidating man with a frown, who didn’t seem to directly face whoever was in front of him.
“I saw what you did for that girl,” Mr. Gormund said, looking past Mike. “Did you know her?”
“No.” Mike looked down, embarrassed that he’d been noticed. “As a matter of fact, I didn’t even learn her name. But I think she’ll be okay.”
“You’re on the third floor of my building with the rest of these clowns, aren’t you? But you’re not with them.”
“Oh, they’re all right, sir.” Mike smiled. “They’re probably just blowing off some steam after a long week. Closing that last account was a big job.”
“If you say so. Listen, I need good men next to me on the top floor. Can I expect from you more of what I just saw you do tonight for that woman, if I transfer you upstairs?”
“Sir?” Mike glanced at the table where his co-workers were loudly singing a vulgar chorus. “I’m an honest worker, Mr. Gormund, but you should know that I’m a Christian, and a lot of people find that I don’t fit into their acceptable molds.”
“I don’t want people who fit into other people’s molds or expectations.” Mr. Gormund raised his chin. “I want men who think for themselves and treat our clients with the compassion I saw from you tonight. On Monday, you ride the elevator to the top floor. I’ll have a new office for you next to mine.”
They shook hands. Mike thanked the Lord in his heart as he accompanied Mr. Gormund back to the table. He couldn’t wait to get home and tell his wife what had happened—simply because he didn’t fit the mold, and he’d remained faithful and caring toward a stranger.
Welcome Reading Friends, this is David Telbat. What kind of Christian resolve do you have? Have you heard that one-eyed Wes Trimble will soon be facing blood-thirsty bandits on the open road? Protecting innocent lives against violence? Sharing the gospel in the midst of gunfire? That’s right! The Resolution Series is mere days away from release! (We’ll update this post HERE as soon as Book One goes live this week!)
Okay, perhaps you’ve read The COIL Series and The COIL Legacy Series, but are you wondering what happens next? Well, one-eyed Wes Trimble was a strong secondary character in several COIL books, making multiple appearances, always supporting God’s workers in the field. Sometimes he risked his own life to catch a bad guy, or he helped rescue a good guy. But now, Wes isn’t a secondary character any longer—he’s on the front line of the COIL action and in the midst of America’s Last Days!
If you’re wondering how The Steadfast Series and the Last Dawn Trilogy fit with these other books, here it is: after The Resolution Series, chronologically, you’ll want to get to know Eric Radner in The Steadfast Series. If you’ve already read the six Steadfast novellas, then you know to expect nothing but exciting tension and Christian resolve from Wes Trimble in these four new novellas that make up The Resolution Series! And the Last Dawn Trilogy picks up the COIL storyline with full-length novels in the Last Dawn Trilogy! Book One, Dawn of Affliction is available NOW, and Book Two, Dawn of Oppression, will follow this winter!
Wes Trimble is tapping his foot, waiting for you to lace up your boots and jump on your bike to take this next trek with him. Lives hang in the balance, so don’t wait too long. Thousands are being threatened, not only by the Meridia Virus, but also by a vicious gang of raiders called the Diablos.
Grab your Bible and steady your heart for action! It’s time for God’s people to be resolute for what’s ahead!
See you on the next page!
NOTE: Dee will update this post on our website and add links as the novellas go live this week. AND Resolution Book Onewill be FREE for a limited time, so watch for that news! Please let David know what you think of his latest in the COIL saga!
COMING UP: Join us next time for David Telbat’s new Christian Short Story, “Don’t Fit the Mold.” And for the following post, we’ll have his Author Reflection, “When the World is Stripped Away.”
Dear Reading Friends, this is David Telbat. It’s time to answer some questions that some of you have posed about the next COIL set of books. The new Resolution Series, a set of four novellas (coming the week of July 15!) will bridge the gap between a couple of my other book series, as well as let you know what’s happened to some other COIL characters. Here are some questions and answers:
Questions & Answers for The Resolution Series
Q: Were Wes Trimble and Wynter Caspertein really headed toward marriage at the end of The COIL Legacy?
A: Yes, in The Resolution Series you’re about to have in your hands, the one-eyed CIA agent and the archaeologist from the Caspertein family are married, and in every book of this 4-novella series, Wes and Wynter face both tragedy and struggle together.
Q: Does The Resolution Series explain what happened to Oleg Saratov, since he wasn’t in the first Last Dawn book, Dawn of Affliction?
A:Oleg Saratov plays an important role in The Resolution Series, and we get a good idea of what he’s been doing in the time between The COIL Legacy books and the Last Dawn series.
Q: In Dawn of Affliction, Mia Trimble is already nearly twenty years old, so will we find out what happened to her in those years growing up?
A: Yes, we will discover some very unexpected truths about Mia as an infant and her family in The Resolution Series.
Q: The Kindred of Nails were central in the final COIL Legacy book, Distant Harm, and there was mention of them in the Dawn of Affliction book. Will we see Chevy and the Kindred again?
A: Yes, The Resolution Series is basically the whole story of what became of the Kindred of Nails, and Chevy will be working with Wes at some point. (Chevy may even have a love interest introduced, too!)
Q: What are some major spiritual themes in The Resolution Series?
A: You’ll find forgiveness as a major theme, at times of deep offense. Perseverance for the sake of others will be seen, at times when it would be easier to give up. The gospel message will come up a few times, since God’s people in America’s Last Days are vigilant to share the Good News with the lost, weary, and defeated people of the country after Pan-Day.
Q: Will everything happen as planned for the characters in The Resolution Series?
A: No, unexpected tragedy occurs in every book of this series. I’m talking about heart-stopping defeat that seems to prevail—death, suffering, and loss. BUT, faith in God then rises, and Christians are found to triumph in the face of heartache and defeat. These are the lessons I hope we most cling to from these books.
I hope these few details about The Resolution Series gets you excited to jump into the first book with one-eyed Wes Trimble leading the way!
See you on the next page!
NOTE:The Resolution Series will be out the week of July 15th! As we work around a family wedding, and unforeseeable delays, the series of four novellas will finally be out in just a few days! AND Book One will be FREE for a limited time, so watch for our announcement on our site at Novel News here, or on our Resolution Series page here!
Note for Beta Readers: Dee will be in touch with you this week about reading/reviewing the new series of novellas!
COMING UP: Join us next time for “New Resolution Series and Christian Resolve” with another peek into this new novella series in the COIL lineup! (We’ve pushed David’s next new short story back to July 22.)
Dear Reading Friend, there you are at home, listening to the hum of the A/C—or out on the beach under the umbrella—wondering what to do with yet another hot, summer day. But it doesn’t have to be a boring time—not when you can travel the world with this Summer (& Beyond) Reading List for Christians! Whether by fiction or non-fiction, you can supplement the noise of the A/C with the following page-turning reads.
This list is far longer than you can probably read in a summer, so use it throughout the year! Click the links to read book descriptions or book reviews by D.I. Telbat. These books are either written by him, or he has done a book review on each recommended non-fiction book. (This list also gives you an order in which you might want to read D.I. Telbat books.) Happy reading!
Summer (& Beyond) Reading List for Christians
by D.I. Telbat Click links below to find direct retailer links, or D.I. Telbat Book Reviews.
*Certain marked titles are only available in paperback format, and not as eBooks.
The above books are not just good reads. They are faith-building walks through the lives of imperfect but committed Christians who do mighty things for their Lord Jesus Christ. You will emerge more fervent in your own faith after spending a summer (& beyond) exploring the lives of these adventurers. We pray you have a great and safe summer!
See you on the next page!
(Note: Many of the above links contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a few cents on any sale made through these links. It helps a little with some of our operating costs. Thanks!)
Novel Update:The Resolution Series is in the final editing phase! The books will be out the week of July 15! You’ll enjoy getting to know Wes Trimble better, and to hear about some old friends of yours as well.
Welcome Reading Friends! This is Dee today with a novel update and some background on David Telbat’s upcoming novellas, The Resolution Series! It’s in the editing process right now and will be ready for you soon! Join one-eyed Wes Trimble on a journey through the End Times remnants of several California cities, and stand beside him as he uses COIL trade-craft to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. D.I. Telbat gives us some behind-the-scene thoughts about his newest Christian post-apocalyptic adventure series:
THE RESOLUTION SERIES
As long as there have been Casperteins, Wes Trimble has been on the scene, making an impact, showing himself useful. He’s been a strong supporting character in the COIL books, but I [David] decided to make him the hero of this new series, to show Wes at his very best.
In previous novels, we’ve seen Wes Trimble jump without a parachute out of an airliner (Dark Vessel), and we witnessed him covering for his future wife, Wynter (Distant Contact). We’ve already seen this courageous Christian put his life on the line for faith and justice, but in this new series, we’ll see his true heart for Christ in a special way. We’ll see him emerge from the shadows of Titus Caspertein and Corban Dowler, and display his skills and heart in the midst of a crumbling society.
This new series is called RESOLUTION because Wes Trimble is resolute, which means he’s firmly determined. Wes is resolved in the things he’s doing, and nothing can sway him. This is especially important in the life of a Christian who faces mountains of opposition. Being resolute is also related to being devoted.
Many of us may never face what Wes faces in this series (highway bandits & shootouts with criminals), but his Christian character speaks to us all. Even in the heartache of offense, trial, and loss, Wes is resolute about pursuing a Christ-like approach. He doesn’t wander the path of vengeance. The world may not approve, and it may even kill him, but Wes won’t be swayed from seeking God’s way.
There’s a little something for every age group in these eBooks. We pray you are encouraged in your own journey of faith by this series. The plan is to release all four novellas about the same time, so you won’t have to wait for the next one. Watch for that news to come soon!
DAWN OF OPPRESSION
As The Resolution Series goes through the editing phase, David is working hard on Book Two of the Last Dawn Trilogy, Dawn of Oppression. You will not want to miss this new, extra-length thriller in post-apocalyptic America featuring Jenna Dowler! We’ll have more about the saga in the months ahead. It is due out fall of 2019.
That’s it for this time, friends. May the Lord bless you richly as you serve Him in your own circles.
COMING UP: Join us next time for a special “Summer (& Beyond) Reading List for Christians.” (This is an organized list of novels written by D.I. Telbat, mingled with links to book reviews he wrote for non-fiction books he recommends.)
Dear Friends, with The RESOLUTION Series about to be released, I expect you’ll soon recognize some similarities in concept to The STEADFAST Series. That’s intentional! In the Bible, resolve and steadfastness are connected. This is why I hope we also notice some similarities between The Resolution Series and the Bible itself. Here are three reflections that will probably be familiar to you:
1. Joseph’s mind was made up.
When Joseph, the son of Jacob, was working in Potiphar’s house as a slave, Potiphar’s wife made a pass at Joseph. What did Joseph say to her? We witness his resolve for God in his response: “How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?” (Gen 39:9) Joseph’s mind was made up about what he knew to do and not do, based upon God’s view of it.
2. Daniel’s heart was set.
As a young Jewish captive of Babylon, Daniel was pressed upon to partake of the delicacies of the world empire. But the Bible says, “Daniel set upon his heart that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank.” (Dan 1:8) What a message of steadfast faith for us today! It wasn’t so much about the food as much as what anti-God theme the food represented spiritually, and Daniel set his heart to remain undefiled. We all know God’s best was poured out on Daniel because he had this kind of resolve.
3. Unbreakable resolve, even when facing death.
In Revelation 12, John foresaw the resolve of faithful Christians in their zeal for Jesus so they might overcome Satan the accuser. They overcome Satan by holding fast to what was accomplished at the Cross—and they won’t waiver even if it kills them. Wow! They’d rather die than give in to ideas or influences that belittle the truth of Christ’s sacrifice and finished work!
Do Christians today need more resolve? Yes, we all do. Too often, believers do not reflect a biblical resolve because of compromise. Let’s not misrepresent God’s good Name any longer!
It is my hope that as you read The Resolution Series, you’ll be reminded of God’s Word and His written encouragements so we can remain resolute for Him. Interestingly—He was and is still resolute for us.
See you on the next page!
FATHER’S DAY SALE! June 18 is the LAST DAY to get Dawn of Affliction, Book One of the Last Dawn Trilogy, for just $0.99 cents! Click the link to read a description of this post-apocalyptic adventure in the COIL timeline, and journey across America with Levi Caspertein. Check it out today!
COMING UP: Join us next time for a Novel Update to see what David Telbat has coming soon.
Dear Reading Friends, sometimes we think of Father’s Day as a day for spoiling our fathers. It is that as well, certainly. But maybe what fathers need most is our encouragement to keep making the hard decisions, to stand by the choices that matter most, and to lead the family and the community in a way that impacts lives for Christ. Fathers need to be appreciated for being the head of the family, for trusting God when things seem bleak, and for keeping their priorities straight in this compromising world. Here’s a short story that may speak to our times. Happy Father’s Day, you fathers! [Check out our special sale for Father’s Day below!] I hope you enjoy the story.—David Telbat
Father’s Day Short Story
The Best Pitch
by D.I. Telbat
Greg Thurman clapped and cheered for his nine-year-old son, Brian, as the boy carefully chose a baseball bat for a turn at the plate. After he picked up a wooden slugger, he hefted it in his hands and approached the backstop. The umpire brushed off home plate and the stands hushed themselves in anticipation for the next batter.
“Dad!” Brian signaled urgently for his father.
Leaping over two rows of cheering mothers, Greg landed below the bleachers and jogged up to the backstop to speak to his son through the wire.
“You ready to hit it?” Greg asked his son.
“I think so. Everyone here is better than me. I can barely see the ball when the pitcher throws it.”
“Remember what we practiced in the back yard.” Greg lowered his voice so only his son could hear. “When you’re facing the pitcher, and the ball is coming at you, it’ll be easier to see head-on rather than watching it from the side. Keep your grip tight, tuck your chin, and swing when it seems right.”
“Tuck my chin and swing?”
“It’s just you and the ball.” Greg made a fist, barely containing his pride. “Forget everything else and smack that ball!”
“Okay, Dad.” Brian grinned and stepped up to the plate.
The umpire signaled the pitcher, and the pitcher went through his dramatic wind-up routine to pitch the ball.
Greg’s phone vibrated on his hip when Brian swung and missed the first pitch.
“It’s all right, son!” Greg yelled. “You’ll get the next one!”
He glanced down at his phone, wondering if it was his wife. She was on bed-rest, pregnant with their third child. But no, it was the office. The office? On a Sunday? He’d already told them he wouldn’t work on Sundays. His immediate supervisor had promised that Greg would be passed over for a raise because of it, but Greg hadn’t budged.
“A raise if I miss Sunday morning services? My God is more important than that,” Greg had told his boss. “And my family is more important than a raise to miss our Sunday afternoon time. I’ll see you Monday morning.”
Without a doubt, the family could use that raise, but Greg had stood on his convictions, trusting God to provide for them as Greg put his faith and his family first.
Reluctantly, Greg answered the phone as Brian allowed a wide pitch to float past him, and the umpire called a ball.
“Good eye, Brian!” Greg called. “Good eye, son.”
“Hello? Is someone there?”
Greg held the phone to his ear.
“Yeah. This is Greg Thurman. Is something wrong?”
“This is Sal Broschen.”
Greg felt the blood drain from his face. Sal Broschen? Big Sal? The top boss? Sal Broschen owned the marketing firm his division worked for!
“Yes, sir. How can I help you?”
“Well, I’m standing outside your office, and I don’t see you here. I gave explicit instructions to the division heads that I wanted everyone here. We need to kick off this next quarter with a fresh attitude. How can we do that together if some of the team is missing?”
Greg covered the mouth piece as Brian let another pitch pass, this time a strike.
“It’s all right, son! Wait for the right one. You’ve got it.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Thurman?” Big Sal said on the phone. “Can you hear me? It sounds like you’re in the middle of something there.”
“Actually, I’m at my son’s baseball game. He’s at the plate right now. It’s his first time.” Greg was tempted to hang up the phone, but decided against it. “Mr. Broschen, I assure you, as an honest Christian and a family man, I give one hundred percent for the company when I’m at the office. I need that job, but that job isn’t more important to me than my faith or my family. My Sundays are reserved for attending church service and for enjoying my growing family. Now, it’s Father’s Day, and I think the real question is, why are all of you at the office? Don’t you have families?”
Brian allowed another ball to pass. The umpire signaled that the count was full. The next pitch would decide everything.
“You do know who I am, right?” Big Sal asked. “I mean, you know who you’re talking to?”
“Mr. Broschen, I’m top in sales not only for my division, but you can check the numbers. I lead in sales for all of your divisions. I appreciate the job I have, but I was already threatened about giving up my Sundays for the company, and it didn’t make me change my mind. So, if you want to threaten me or fire me, it still won’t change my priorities. I’m a husband and a father first. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I think I’m able to make so many sales, believe it or not. Our clients care about their families, and they know I’m a family man, too. Is there anything else you’d like from me this afternoon?”
“No, Mr. Thurman. I think you’ve said quite enough.”
“Am I fired?”
“No, you’re not fired. I’d say you’re hired.”
“Excuse me?” Greg asked in surprise.
“That’s right. I had already terminated your employment before I called you. I just wanted to hear your sorry excuse.” The man chuckled. “Turns out, your excuse isn’t sorry after all. I’m re-hiring you. We need more sales reps with your kind of gumption!”
“All right, sir. Thank you. Have a nice day.”
Greg turned off his phone and stuffed it into his pocket as Brian swung and barely connected with the ball. He dropped the bat as Greg shouted excitedly. The ball wobbled five yards to the left. The boy sprinted for first base as the youngsters on the other team scrambled for the ball while tripping over the in-field.
Brian barely reached first base before the ball was thrown to the first baseman.
“Good hit, Brian!” Greg yelled. “That’s the first of many. Now, pay attention, son. Watch the next batter. Get ready to run again!”
Brian waved at his father, and Greg couldn’t think of a better Father’s Day gift.
Suddenly, he thought about the phone in his pocket. He’d been so focused on Brian’s game that it hadn’t quite registered what the head boss had said. Fired, but then re-hired?
The Lord was definitely showing him favor. But, why? He guessed God was watching over him because Greg was willing to put his faith and family first.
Or, maybe the Lord was pleased because Greg didn’t swing at the pitch the enemy had just thrown.
Special SALE for Father’s Day – June 15-18!Dawn of Affliction will be $0.99 for four days only! If you’ve not read it, now’s your chance! June 15-18, click the title for a direct link.
COMING UP: Join us next time for “Reflections of Resolution,” in which you’ll find a little background for The Resolution Series. And for the following post, Dee will bring a Novel Update to you on the status of upcoming D.I. Telbat books.
Welcome Reading Friends and New Subscribers! This is David Telbat. We live in a world that swiftly judges without mercy, and rejects the idea that people can truly change. However, my books are filled with characters who supernaturally change directions. By God’s miraculous hand, they experience new birth after believing the gospel message. But is this real? Is such a change just fiction? Does it happen in real life?
Can People Truly Change?
When I write, I’m often inspired by people I know in real life. I’ve ministered to many men, some of whom have become friends. For example, two of my friends are named Edwin and Justin. They are both faithful believers and followers of Jesus Christ, but they were not always believers. Nor were they friends with each other. Quite the opposite!
Edwin is a black man from Alabama, a man who once dealt drugs. He was a racist, as he describes himself, and lived well, making lots of money through his illegal business.
Justin was a White Supremacist from California. He was popular in high school, but found himself mixed up with a bad crowd, and eventually made decisions that led him into trouble with the law.
Until God Caught Them.
Years ago, no one would have guessed that these two men—from different races, born on opposite sides of the country—would one day be serving faithfully in the same congregation. But they don’t only serve in the same congregation. They are partners—closer than blood brothers, evangelists, impacting more lives as a team than they ever could separately.
Can people change? Well, not really . . . unless they die to their old selves, and are reborn by God.
If you are a Christian, then you know this already, because you’re not the same person you used to be, either. I hope you share about your rebirth with someone today who desperately needs a rebirth of their own. Jesus Christ is the answer!
I have a new series of four novellas about to come out as eBooks—The Resolution Series—that are filled with examples of how God changes people. I hope you will check them out this summer!
Novel Update: We just got the new RESOLUTION book covers up on our site! Click the link to learn more about the series and to see the new covers. The novellas are in the midst of the editing phase. Stay tuned to our weekly posts for more news.
COMING UP: Join us next time for a new Father’s Day Short Story, “The Best Pitch.” And for the following post, we have “Reflections of Resolution” with some background on The Resolution Series.
Dear Reading Friends, do you have a heart for the homeless? There are many ways to care for the less fortunate, who seem to be all around us nowadays. Sometimes we try too hard and miss the mark completely. Maybe God is just looking for simple Christians to care for other simple people. I hope this short story will mean something to you.—David Telbat.
A Heart for the Homeless
by D.I. Telbat
Frank Sespar fought frustration as he pulled on an old winter coat and worn-out tennis shoes. The coat was torn in several places and the shoes had holes in the toes. His jeans were torn and he’d purposely not shaved for three days. In this fashion, he climbed out of his car and walked toward Market Street, two blocks away.
When he arrived at Market Street, he prayed for God’s direction as he tried to fit in with the homeless population in the city. There were many along the street—men, women, and children. Whole families were living in tents, or under cardboard roofs, and some had no shelter at all. After several failed attempts in weeks past to evangelize the people, he had decided to dress like they dressed, to become one of them. Maybe now they would let him care for them!
But trying to reach the homeless for Christ wasn’t what frustrated him. He had tried to recruit other men from his fellowship to join him that afternoon, but no one had accepted the offer—for the fourth week in a row. They’d all had different excuses. So, he had come on his own, alone with a burdened heart for the unfortunate.
Now that he appeared like a homeless person as they were, Frank was confident that people would respond to him. They would finally receive the gospel tracts he wanted to pass out. Even alone, he would make a difference in the city!
However, the farther Frank walked up Market Street, the more the homeless people seemed to draw away from him. His pocket was still full of tracts when he thought it would be empty by now. Didn’t he look just like them? What was wrong?
Finally, he turned around and started back down the other side of the street. Suddenly, he noticed a man who wore nicer clothes than most of the people, yet he wasn’t being shunned. And the man had a weathered Bible in his hands! How was he able to reach them, when he looked so different?
Frank drew closer and listened to the man with the Bible speak to a small family who appeared to be living on a soiled bed mattress under an awning. The people visited with the man. He even read from the Bible, listened to their stories, and laughed when a boy told a joke.
Distraught and confused, Frank walked away from Market Street and returned to his car. He opened the trunk and took off the clothes he’d worn to get the people to accept him. Uncertain what God was teaching him, Frank sat in the front seat and rested his head against the steering wheel. How could God give him a heart to reach the homeless, but not the wits to know how to connect with them?
“How can that other man be reaching them, Lord, but I can’t?” Frank asked, near tears. “How would Jesus reach them, Father?”
As quickly as his words left his mouth, the answer seemed to hit him like a warm breeze. He scoffed at himself, feeling foolish that he’d gone to such unnecessary lengths to communicate with the people on the street. The homeless probably even recognized him from his previous attempts to talk to them. Sometimes he had come in nice clothes, and then he’d walked the street in torn and aged clothes. They probably thought he was nuts!
Laughing at himself, he picked up his Bible and walked away from his car. Wearing his normal clothes, as if he’d just come from the park, he strolled back to Market Street, feeling light and free. A few blocks up the street, he sat down on the sidewalk next to a fire hydrant and acknowledged the people around him.
Nearby, a woman was giving a man a haircut. Two youths watched the man’s hair slowly disappear, making wise cracks about the job the woman was doing. And farther away, a man who wore a sun visor sat with a dog with no leash or collar. They appeared to be best friends. And across the street, two women sat on the curb. It looked like they were sewing or patching a blanket as they gossiped.
Soon, a man walked up to Frank and sat down next to him. They talked about the weather and what it would be like to be out fishing on a lake. Others arrived, and Frank found himself in the middle of a discussion about whether analog or digital watches were better.
After a while, someone asked who he was, and Frank shared that he’d been searching for a reason to be alive, and God had opened his eyes to some things. For a few minutes, Frank opened up with the people what he’d found to be meaningful in the story of Jesus dying on the cross. The people listened and asked questions, and although Frank didn’t have all the answers to their questions, it didn’t seem as important as spending time with the people on the street.
When Frank returned to his car that evening, his heart was both glad and saddened by what he’d discovered. He was glad to learn that he didn’t need to fake his appearance to reach people, who simply wanted to be noticed and valued. And he was saddened that he was only now realizing there were so many to care for, and so few were responding to the need.
At home, he shared with his wife all that God had taught him the last few weeks. After some silence, she asked if he would like some company the next time he went to Market Street. She said she would like to sit with the people as well.
“That’s what I was misunderstanding at first,” Frank admitted. “I wasn’t willing to sit with them. Now, I know it’s not about what I’m wearing on the outside, but how I’m joining myself to them on the inside. And I think we should go back tomorrow!”
Dear Friends, self-sacrifice seems to be the prevailing theme in my new upcoming Resolution Series. It wasn’t something I intended when I started writing Res Book One, but now as I’ve just finished reading through and editing each book, self-sacrifice comes up over and over again in this post-apocalyptic series. Does this theme of selflessness mean something to us as Christians?
The Original Plan for The Resolution Series
Originally, I wrote this four-book series—set one year after the collapse of America—to show one-eyed Wes Trimble’s part in the COIL family, after the Meridia Virus has wiped out millions across the country. He was a subtle but strong character throughout The COIL Series and The COIL Legacy Series, but subtle or not, he was resolute, which means determined or firm.
Wes Trimble showed himself as being committed to taking down dark hearts, and eventually he joined the COIL team permanently to help protect persecuted Christians. He seemed to me to be the perfect hero to develop through this new series, as his resolute zeal against sin could be shown more clearly as resolute faith in Christ, and living for Him.
The Unplanned Result of the New Series
As often happens in a book or series I write, I see unexpected developments in the storyline. This happens because I like to rely on the character’s own personality to run the story, after I throw them into a chaotic situation. Sure enough, the resolve that Wes Trimble was designed to have eventually showed itself as the resolution to be self-sacrificial.
Over and over again, these books reveal the true character of Christ. That true character is this: God’s people love at all costs. Wes isn’t just resolute. That was apparently too simple for him, for he erupted through this adventure as a man who refused to ignore the call to love others, even his enemies—and even when it endangered himself.
Unexpected and unplanned, self-sacrifice is a major theme of The Resolution Series, so these books are not for the lukewarm or cold-hearted. Or maybe they are exactly for the lukewarm and cold-hearted! Why? Because through Wes Trimble, we see a model of caring for our neighbors, an example that may very well draw us to see our own need for God to inspire in fresh ways. Wes’s resolute faith, revealed through his love for others in dangerous situations, may convince us that living for Christ is possible, even at the expense of ourselves.
May we all become resolutely self-sacrificing in a Christ-like way, as is Wes Trimble.
See you on the next page!
This new series is in the hands of our editing team. The plan is to release all four novellas at the same time early summer 2019. The book covers are in the works and we hope to have them on our book pages soon.