Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Remembering Christmas (Divine Moments) by Yvonne Lehman


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Book Review by Contributor Lorilyn Roberts

When I finished reading Remembering Christmas, so many tears filled my eyes it was hard to see. From sweet stories to special moments, funny anecdotes to heart-wrenching tales, soft poetic lyrics to bold eschatology, there is a story for everyone in this book.

I tried to decide which one was my favorite, but couldn’t. They were all beautifully written. Still, one memoir unexpectedly touched my heart.

In “The Return of the King” by Bob Blundell, he shares a trip he took to Israel, where he stood at the edge of the Valley of Armageddon. This incident was particularly memorable to him because when he was in college, he had read Hal Lindsey’s best-selling book, The Late Great Planet Earth.

Forty-five years earlier, I attended an event at which Hal Lindsey spoke when I was a student at the University of Georgia. What an impact hearing him speak had on my life. Many years earlier, I had also read The Late Great Planet Earth and seen the movie by the same name.

By coincidence, I had listened to a Hal Lindsey YouTube video in my car only a few hours earlier. I was returning home with an old treasured lamp someone had fixed for me for free as a Christmas gift.

“I can tell how much that lamp means to you,” the man said. “Merry Christmas.”

I felt so blessed by the store owner because it took him a while to fix the lamp, and the store rate for repairs was $90 per hour.

Wonderful books tug at your heartstrings. They stir your emotions and cause you to ponder, to remember, to hope, to laugh, to weep. They take you down roads less traveled and quench a longing you might not even know you have.

Remembering Christmas is one of those books. In this season of giving, I’ve enjoyed a quiet moment to read and reflect on the profound meaning of Christmas, not only historically and spiritually, but personally. I will put this poignant book on my bookshelf and look forward to reading it again next Christmas and beyond.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Reaching the World Through Christ by Voting for a Christian Book Cover Depicting the End of Days - Seventh Dimension - The Howling, by Lorilyn Roberts

UPDATE:  I MADE IT TO THE THIRD ROUND

To continue in the best book cover contest at All Author, I need to be in the top 24, and I'm at number 28 right now. That means without your help, I won't be able to continue. I have six days to get there. 


The main reason I want to make it to the next round is my book is a Christian book, and anytime we can promote our Lord Jesus Christ to a secular reading audience, we should do everything in our power to be a witness to the unsaved. 

I am asking those who love Christ to help me keep going. Perhaps someone who is not a Christian will see my book cover and be led to purchase it. I lowered the price to 99c on Amazon as long as I'm in the running. That means for every book sold I make 33c on Amazon, so this isn't about money. It's about spreading the love of Jesus Christ to secular readers. 

I truly believe the Lord's return is imminent. The Howling is the final book in the Seventh Dimension Series and is about the end days. Many people will never pick up a Bible, but if they are hooked in the first chapter of a book, they will usually keep reading. 

Getting people to pick up a book by an unknown author requires a book cover that intrigues them. If you think my book cover is "awesome," please vote. It only takes a second. 

You can do "open voting" by signing in with your Facebook account. Someone told me All Authors asks for your birthday, and that's to make sure people only vote ONCE in each round. 

Round three just opened yesterday, and so if you are wondering if you have voted in round three, if you haven't voted in the last twenty-four hours, you haven't. 

Again, thanks for your help. To have a realistic chance of winning, I need about two hundred votes.  






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Saturday, December 7, 2019

Next Man Up - Are You Ready?






I’ve often thought one of the neatest things about sports is the parallel you can draw between sports and Christianity. So, to give a wonderful example of what I mean, last Saturday I captioned a college football game, Kennesaw State University versus Wofford.

One thing that made captioning this game unique is that I actually attended Kennesaw State University eons ago when I took a history class. I believe it was an American history class. I’ve always been a history buff even when I didn’t know I was one.

For those who aren’t familiar with Kennesaw State University, it’s located in Kennesaw, Georgia, about twenty miles north of Atlanta. The College has an enrollment of about 30,000 students and the football team, known as the Owls, is a recent entry in the Big South Conference.

Last Saturday the Owls and the Wofford Terriers squared off in the first round of the FCS playoffs. I’ve captioned hundreds of games in every sport imaginable over the past twenty years, but midway through the second quarter, the ordinary game became extraordinary—at least for me.

Tommy Bryant, Kennesaw State’s star quarterback, suffered an injury and had to leave the game. Tommy had played every second of every game for the entire season. Jonathan Murphy, the backup quarterback, had not taken a single snap. For twelve games, he sat on the sidelines and watched.

I’d seen this scenario dozens of times before. A team works their tails off to make it to the playoffs only to have their star player go down, and their dreams of winning a championship go down with him.

So, I didn’t expect this game to be any different. Oftentimes, in the first possession, the team panics, fumbles the ball, and the opponent gets possession and runs it down the field for a touchdown.

But not this time. This unknown, backup quarterback came in and took over like he had been playing all season and led Kennesaw State to a 28-21 playoff victory. In the process, Jonathan set several records, including running for 206 yards, the most by a quarterback in conference playoff history.

As I captioned the game, I began to think about that young man, Jonathan Murphy. The Owls played their first game against Point University on August 31. From August 31 to November 30, Jonathan watched from the sidelines. Every week for three months he practiced with his team knowing that the chances of even entering the game were slim, but also knowing he had to ready if called upon at a moment’s notice. If Tommy Bryant became sick or injured, Jonathan Murphy was next man up.

Week after week he practiced.

I never participated in sports at that level when I was young, but my daughter competed for years in gymnastics. From a distance, I could imagine the time Jonathan spent conditioning and practicing. I know the sacrifice it takes, the perseverance, and the determination to be the best.

I don’t know if I could be that self-sacrificing for my team. I’d want to be in the game. Maybe I might work hard for the first month, but surely toward the end of the season, I’d be depressed. Maybe I’d lose interest. But not Jonathan Murphy. He was ready.



Juneau, Alaska


Inspiration and insight came to me when the game was over. Is the Christian life not like that? We go for periods of time without trials or tribulations. Life is good. And then something happens, and life is not good. Life is hard. Are we ready when those times come?

I like the New Heart English Bible Translation of 2 Timothy 4:2: “Proclaim the word, be urgent in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.”

It’s not enough to just be ready when God calls us to step up—we need to be spectacularly ready, just like Jonathan Murphy when he came on the field and led his team to victory. 

Is God worth it? Can we sit on the sidelines, tempted to think God doesn’t need us? Perhaps we slack off on our daily Bible reading, or we quit talking to God. Maybe we become a little worldly in our thoughts, or we lose that fire in our belly for the things of God. Are we willing to diligently work hard for Christ even if we don’t get noticed?

Sometimes, when I’m working on a book, I wonder if anyone will ever read my book. I remind myself when the evil one gets in my ear, “I write for an audience of one.”

In my twenty years of captioning, I don’t believe I have ever seen a young man come into a game like that, who had not played all season, and play so brilliantly. If anything, his poise and readiness inspired me to look into my heart and tell God, “I want to be that person for you, to be ready at a moment’s notice if called upon, always proclaiming Your Word in season and out of season, living my life for you, even when life is dull.

Let’s face it, most of life is pretty ordinary, but we never know when God will call us from the sidelines to be His man or woman of the hour. You or I might just be God’s next man up. I pray that I’ll be ready.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Seventh Dimension - The Howling: A Young Adult Christian Fantasy, Up for Cover of the Month Contest on AllAuthor.com

UPDATE:  I MADE IT TO THE SECOND ROUND

If you like the cover of my book, 
Seventh Dimension - The Howling: A Young Adult Christian Fantasy (Seventh Dimension Series Book 6), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month Contest on AllAuthor.com! 





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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving, America

Friday, November 15, 2019

How Can We Win More Young People to Christ? An Award-Winning Author Asks the Question



I would like to give away some copies of Seventh Dimension - The Door for Christmas.

I'm going to share something that's been on my heart for a while, and I'll select a winner from those who leave a comment.

Even though I'm not as young as I used to be, I still love young adult books, probably because I remember how much I enjoyed reading books as a teen. When I was twelve, I remember falling in love with Jesus, or, more succinctly, I remember the first time I felt loved by Him unconditionally.

In many ways, I was Shale Snyder from the Seventh Dimension Series - bullied, smart, and insecure, and spent my early years in a broken home. My childhood pet, Gypsy, came to me much like Much-Afraid did with Shale, unexpected and miraculously, and I had a dark secret I never wanted to share with anyone.

But enough of the similarities. Through the years, I've come to appreciate how much writing has helped me to grow as a person. When I write, I clear out cobwebs from my mind. More often than not, they are lies I've spun from mistakes rooted in condemnation. 

I remove stones from my heart that weigh me down, and I escape into this beautiful dimension of enchantment as I commune with God, my Lord, and Savior. Sometimes it's hard to turn off that voice in my head at night when I go to bed. I just want to create stories.

As I look at young adults today, their world is different from my world of long ago. Teens have so much more materially than I ever had. I didn't grow up with much in the way of those kinds of things. I read books. 

My life was forever changed when I discovered I could read at the age of eight. You see, as strange as it may sound for an award-winning author, I was forced to repeat the first grade because I couldn't read. 

If I could give one bit of advice to the young people of today, it would be this: You can make your plans, but the final outcome is in God's hands (My paraphrasing of Proverbs 16:9).

I believe the affluence of America today has hindered the appetite of many for the things of God. Young people see what we have in America as theirs, and while our country has its flaws, it's still the greatest nation in the world. 

If you are willing to work hard at something, you can succeed. If you are eager to get an education and work hard at something, you can be an achiever. If you are willing to postpone gratification, work hard, get an education, and make many sacrifices, you stand a good chance of achieving your dreams.

Maybe you want to be a professional basketball player. Perhaps you long to be a lawyer. The list is only as short as you make it. 
Practically anything is achievable because America is great, and opportunities abound. 

But what happens when stuff happens? When things don't turn out the way you thought they would? When tragedy strikes? 

I remember many years ago going somewhere with one of my daughters and the family of a friend of hers. She was a teenager at the time, and I remember getting into a discussion with my daughter's friend's father. He surprised me by something he said. His comment basically was this: "Why talk about the end times with our kids. Let them live their life, get married, and have a family. They don't want to think about the world coming to an end or the Lord's return. They just want to live their life."

I didn't have a good response to him at that time because I remembered struggling with that same thought also when I was young. There is one particular memory I recall as if it happened yesterday.

I was putting my husband through medical school at the time, and he was in his second year of a four-year residency. We were watching a show on HBO, and basically, it was a documentary focusing on an end-time scenario, primarily based on the writings of Nostradamus (not the Bible).

That was back in the days before I knew not to trust such writers. While there might be a degree of uncanny accuracy in what they say, it's not based on the Bible, and therefore will never be a hundred percent accurate. Anyone who predicts anything that is not one hundred percent accurate is not a prophet of God. Occultists are relying on demonic powers, and the Bible tells us not to listen to them.

I digress. That's not the point of this article. The point is, as I sat there and watched the documentary with my then-husband, in my heart, I was telling myself, I don't want the end to come. I don't want Christ to return. 

Not after doing all this work and putting my husband through medical school. I want to have children, buy a big house with a pool, and enjoy the fruits of what we've worked so hard for. That hard work was arduous labor for me as a court reporter. I put in long hours in a small town that didn't think women should make more than minimum wage.  

I wish I knew back then what I know now. And it is this: We long for the things of this world because we have no idea what better things God has in store for us in the next. 

And while the years pass by, we fill our hearts with material things. We get married, and husbands commit adultery. We raise children who rebel against us. Young people turn from the Lord and go their own way. I personally know of two Christian families that had sons who committed suicide. I know of other Christian families whose children have chosen alternative lifestyles.

You see, we can make our plans, but because we live in a fallen world, sooner or later, we will face adversity. However, the imperfections of life in some ways can become a blessing. Without suffering, I don't believe we can become all that God created us to be because He created us for so much more. Pain allows us to turn something meant for evil into good.

Ringing the bell when I finished my year-long treatment for breast cancer


It is out of our suffering that we learn obedience, and in our willingness, we see God. We see beyond this world into the next. We know that we weren't made for a fallen world - we were made for perfection in the future one. 

Recently, I went to the "Understanding the Times Prophecy Conference" in Minneapolis. As I looked around at the audience of six thousand people, I didn't see a single young person. I expected to see at least a couple, perhaps some homeschooling families who brought their teens. But nada, not one.

My heart's desire is to win over young people to Christ. As I wrote many times throughout the Seventh Dimension Series, "time is an illusion until God's appointed time."  

It's true, most young people will have many years to live before God calls them home, but Jesus could return tomorrow. Death is only a heartbeat away. If only I could encourage young people to know Christ personally and to live their life for Him and not for themselves.

I won't reveal the final scene in the last book of the Seventh Dimension Series, The Howling, but the idea is "to occupy" until God returns. That means for young people to live their life, get an education, raise their family, and enjoy life, but live for the glory of God, live to share God with others, live in a way that brings honor to Jesus Christ. Young people need to have a personal relationship with their Savior and live as if God could come back at any time. I believe the priorities for most young people do not put Christ first. 

We must not live to please our own appetite. We should occupy until God's return or until He calls us home. That's a vastly different mindset than I could have imagined that day when my then-husband and I watched that apocalyptic HBO pseudo-documentary. I didn't want to live for God. I wanted God to let me live the way I wanted to live. And in His mercy, He did. He showed me a better way, and it was a way of suffering.

So my question is, how can we get young people, teens and young adults, to realize how quickly time flies, that time is an illusion, and as James 4:4 says, our lives are merely a vapor, here for a little while, and then gone? 

When we look around at the world today, we can't help but come to the conclusion that God has made us for so much more. How do we get young people to seize this day, this hour, this moment, for Jesus Christ? 

I've written the Seventh Dimension Series in hopes of reaching those who, like me, love to read. While it's a dwindling number of teens, I believe our future leaders of tomorrow are the young people who read today. A person can't learn all he needs to know to live well only through personal experience. Reading opens the door to biographies of famous people, traveling to other places, and "tasting" different cultures. For the creative ones, reading can take a person to faraway places in time and space, as in the Seventh Dimension Series

Books can teach the reader about God in ways he is unlikely to learn any other way. That's one reason why God gave us the Bible, which includes sixty-six books written by many authors. Life is just too short to experience everything personally. But vicariously, a reader can experience so much more, and in my opinion, it can be better than a trip to Disney World.



What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments, and I will choose some winners to receive a signed copy of The Door.  


Tweet: http://bit.ly/LRWinDoor - I wish I knew back then what I know now. And it is this: We long for the things of this world because we have no idea what better things God has in store for us in the next.