His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Who do You Trust?

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Trust elected leaders or God

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“We Called Him Yeshua,” Now FREE on Amazon

Is reality getting you down … again? Try escaping for a time to another reality. Within the pages of We Called Him Yeshua, you can join those who walked with Jesus on the roads of ancient Israel. Follow them as they follow Him. Experience what they experienced, feel what they felt. It can be almost as if you were there.

3D cover 1 croppedStarting today, the ebook is FREE on Amazon for a limited time. Click here to go to the Amazon book page to check it out. And please recommend this to friends, while the ebook is still free.


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If it’s God’s Will. Really?

RIP - If its Gods will - reallyThey’re devoted to Christianity and their church, and for those who’ve decided to not get vaccinated against COVID 19, some may have a familiar response when asked if they’re concerned about the risks of getting sick and possibly dying. “If it’s God’s will,” they reply. I’ve heard that response before, with respect to an impending threat or otherwise avoidable problem.

Could it really be God’s will for good people to suffer a lonely and painful suffocating death? Is God really that mean; if mean is even the right word? Is it God’s will for all the COVID collateral damage surrounding the sick and dying, like the other people who may get infected, the grieving loved ones left behind, and the overworked and exhausted hospital staff dealing with suffering and death almost every day until they burn out from it? Is all that really God’s will?

Just so I don’t unfairly focus on one topic, look at all the other suffering consuming our world, the other diseases, and the evil, murder, death, hate, anger, abuse, anxiety, and depression. Is all that God’s will too?

Now back to COVID. I’ve also heard some Christians say that putting all their trust in God, rather than a vaccine, will glorify God. As Paul said, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) And yes, history’s full of people glorifying God by their death, most notably Jesus. But, I wonder if the only other people who truly glorified God this way did so when, by their death, others were saved, just as Jesus did. Well, death by COVID doesn’t save anyone.

Also, if someone contracts COVID 19, ends up in the hospital and dies, all along saying, “If it’s God’s will,” how does that glorify God? As I see it, dying that way and saying its God’s will just feeds the misconception that God is mean. No glory for God there, that’s for sure. Plus, how does causing severe grief for the loved ones left behind, and the additional strain on already overworked hospital staff who’ve battled this war for over a year and a half—how does any of that glorify God? I don’t see it. I think we can glorify God more in how we live, than in how we die.

Okay, so here’s what I believe God’s will is, as shown throughout the Bible, beginning in the first pages. God’s original intention was that humanity live with Him in paradise, no toil, no pain, no suffering. Just love, peace, and companionship with God. That was, is, and will always be God’s will. Yet we live under the will of people, because by their own willful decision to listen to Satan rather than God, humanity got kicked out of paradise.

I believe that if an unvaccinated person catches COVID 19 and dies, that is not God’s will. If anything, it’s Satan’s will. We live under the influence of the will of our selves, Satan, other prideful people, and the world—that too is not God’s will.

God’s will is for us to live as originally intended, with Him in paradise, in peace, love, and companionship as His dearly loved children. Just like it was in the beginning. That’s why Jesus died for us and then sent His Spirit to live in us, taking our hand, and guiding us back to paradise.

Like in the story Jesus told of the prodigal son, God just wants us to return home to Him. Oh sure, we can return home by dying. But I believe God would rather have us first live for Him, than die for Him, by letting His Spirit live in us and through us, just as Jesus promised:

“On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20)

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” (John 15:4)

“I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. … Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” (John 17:20-21, 25-26)

That’s how to live in accordance with God’s will and glorify Him.


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Fantasy or Possibility?

How do you think it would be if Jesus walked the earth again, in a human body? As man or woman, it doesn’t matter. Take your pick. Just picture Jesus as human, creating an image in your mind, making Jesus look however you like. Now let’s say this Jesus person lived near you and sometimes hung out with you and your family and friends. How do you think this Jesus person would interact with everyone, what would Jesus say and do, and how might Jesus’ presence affect your lives?

Since God has no limits, now imagine Jesus walking the earth in hundreds of human bodies, or thousands, even millions! How would that be? What kind of impact do you think Jesus could have on the well-being of humanity? Image the power of the truth and love Jesus could spread.

Okay, so is all this talk just fantasy? Please consider that what you’ve just imagined is also what Jesus hopes for. It’s why He sent His Holy Spirit to reside in those who believe and accept His presence in their lives. Fantasy? Not at all.


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Truth? Really? Where?

truthTruth is hard to find these days. It keeps getting run over and buried by fake news, theories, and lies. I search for truth, but it seems in vain. Even when I think I’ve found it, well, is what I’ve found really the truth?

Cynical? Me? Sure, I guess so. Maybe it’s just the scars from being lied to so many times. Politicians, biased “news” sources–they’re the biggest liars in my life, they’re the breeders’ of my cynicism.

But there’s one source of truth I can believe in, one truth that feels like a solid anchor in the nightmare of this stormy life. For me, Jesus is the truth, the one and only truth I can actually rely on.

I started reading the Gospel of John this morning. “We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only (Jesus), full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (verse 17)

And of course, there’s freedom in truth. Wow! Freedom? Really? Freedom seems about as rare as truth these days. But as Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Oh sure, I’ll keep searching for the truth of worldly goings-on, always skeptical of any source of “news” I land on. But I know that when I get tired of futile searching, I can rest in the truth of my relationship with the Spirit of Jesus within me. He is my truth.


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Fully Human, Fully God

For those who choose to believe, when Jesus walked the earth he was both fully human and fully God. A hard thing to visualize and understand—something we just accept, or not. But it may be easier to focus on just one aspect of Jesus. I think a lot of people see primarily the God side of Jesus, and they forget the human side. But to us humans, God can feel far away and intimidating. Therefore, if we see only the God side, we may have a hard time feeling close to Jesus.

That’s why I wrote We Called Him Yeshua. The story within its pages shows how the human side of Jesus may have lived, his personality, his thoughts and feelings. See the human Jesus experiencing aspects of life we ourselves experience. See him feel as we sometimes feel. Oh, and this book is not purely my imagination—it’s all based on Biblical stories.

By showing people what the human side of Jesus may have looked like, my hope is that they will find it easier to relate to Jesus as a friend—no more feelings of mystery or intimidation. If this story can help people feel closer to Jesus, as a fellow human, then maybe they can grow to love him more deeply. And that means a lot.

3D cover 1 cropped(click here to go to Amazon page)

The price for both paperback and ebook is still significantly reduced. Hey, I’m not after a profit—I just hope people will read it. If you like, please refer this book to a friend.


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Young Frankenstein and Jesus

In the movie “Young Frankenstein,” Doctor Frankenstein strapped his deranged monster and himself to medieval-looking laboratory tables. Igor then threw a series of switches, electricity crackled, sparks flew, and the agitated machinery transferred a portion of the doctors’ goodness into his delinquent creation.

We are God’s delinquent creation. Jesus—God as the perfect, sinless, all-righteous human—nailed himself to the cross for the great exchange. Jesus took our sin, and gave us His righteousness, making us as acceptable in God’s eyes as he is Himself. Our righteousness had to come from God, for there is no one other than God who is righteous.

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” (Romans 3:22)


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One With Jesus, or One With the World

Jesus once prayed, “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us.” (John 17:20-21)

Jesus also said, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20) “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. … If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” (John 15:4-5, 7)

And finally, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

As I see it, we each have a choice—to be one with Jesus, or one with the world. I can be driven by my relationship with Jesus, by my love for Him, or driven by my love for the world. Well, I know what my preference is.

What do you think?


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To be an Image of God … Again

It’s safe to say that Jesus was a true image of God, as any child is something of an image of their parents. But I suspect that Jesus, when he walked those roads of ancient Israel, was more of an image of God.

I also suspect that when God first created humans—Adam and Eve—that they were almost as much of an image of God as Jesus. But of course, sin entered in and tarnished that image, nearly obliterating it in some people.

I don’t know about you, but I want that image back. I want to be an image of God … again. How? Well, Jesus told us. Deny my Self and let the Spirit of Jesus fill me with Himself.

In referring to Jesus, John the Baptist once said, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30) That’s my constant prayer, for the Spirit of Jesus to become greater in me, and for my natural, flawed, human nature Self—you know, the selfish, self-centered, prideful, greedy, blah, blah, blah part of me that has often dominated what people see—to become less. Jesus must become greater, my Self must become less. Actually, my hope is that the Spirit of Jesus becomes everything in me, and my Self becomes nothing.

And the more there is of the Holy Spirit within me, the more I will be an image of God, as Jesus is an image of God.


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“We Called Him Yeshua,” Kindle Still FREE on Amazon

Have you ever wondered what it was like to follow Jesus as He traveled the roads of ancient Israel? What did those people see, and feel? I’m talking about the people Jesus interacted with as recorded in the Bible. Like the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet while He was having dinner at the house of a church leader, and the compassion she felt from Jesus while the dinner host chastised her. Or the leper who said to Jesus, “If you are willing, you can make me clean,” and what he must have felt when Jesus placed His hand on the man’s shoulder, the man feeling the touch of another person for maybe the first time since he’d contracted that disease.

These people and more will tell you their stories in the pages of “We Called Him Yeshua.” And through their stories, you will see another side of Jesus’ story.

In honor of Easter, the Kindle version is FREE on Amazon until midnight Thursday, April 1.

Please recommend this to friends, while it’s still free.

(click here to go to Amazon book page)

Free promo 3-21 #2


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A Friend for Easter, and Beyond

“We Called Him Yeshua” will take you down the road leading to that first Easter Sunday. By seeing through the eyes of hopeful people who followed Jesus on that road, you might feel yourself drawn into their world, walking with them, seeing what they saw, feeling what they felt. And, you will see a side of Jesus that you share, His human side. They called Him Yeshua, and friend—by sharing in their experiences, you too may come to call Him friend.

But Jesus wants more than a casual friendship. Jesus wants to share His life with you. And, He wants you to share your life with Him. Yet as with any relationship, to share our life with someone, we need to know them on a level that’s deeper than a casual friendship, far deeper. “We Called Him Yeshua” may take you there.

In honor of Easter, the Kindle version is FREE on Amazon from Sunday March 28, to midnight Thursday, April 1.

Please recommend this to friends, while it’s still free.

(click here to go to Amazon book page)

Free promo 3-21 #1


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The Dominion of … Take Your Pick

In addition to being the dominion of God, heaven is the dominion of love, forgiveness, grace, and humility. The world, on the other hand, though there is still love and the rest, is mainly the dominion of pride, selfishness, and other such aspects of our fallen human nature.

So this morning, while holding that image in my mind of the world as the dominion of pride, I read these words of Jesus:

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” (John 17:16)

“If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.” (John 15:19)

“In me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)

“—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him no knows him.” (John 14:17)

We can be in the world, but not off the world—a common phrase I’ve often heard. We physically live in the dominion of pride, but our heart and soul can reside in the dominion of love, forgiveness, and especially humility. For it’s humility that opens the door for love and forgiveness.

And that brings me to the last verse I quoted above. The world cannot accept the Holy Spirit because Pride will not allow it, pride cannot see the Spirit of Jesus, nor know Him. So, if we want to come to know the Spirit of Jesus, I think we first need to let humility be dominant over pride in our lives. I wish we could be free of pride and the harm it brings. But we can at least nurture our humility so that it becomes stronger than pride. And then, we will be able to see, and know, the Spirit of Jesus within us.


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“We Called Him Yeshua” FREE on Amazon

Hello there everyone,

It’s been almost a year since I published my first novel, We Called Him Yeshua. To celebrate that, I’m having a promotion where the Kindle version is FREE on Amazon from today until midnight Wednesday, March 10th.

If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to follow Jesus as he traveled the roads of ancient Israel, this might be a great story for you. In it, you will see Jesus through the eyes of people who followed him on his final journey to Jerusalem.

Also, if you know anyone who might enjoy this book, now would be a great time to refer them to it. Maybe you could share this post on your social-media-of-choice, or even email this to a friend (see buttons below).

Finally, if you would like to leave a review or just a star rating on Amazon, that would be terrific. I’m especially grateful to hear what readers think of the book. Feedback can help me make my next book better.

(Click here to go to Amazon page)

Thank you and I hope you have a great weekend.

All the best,

CJ


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A Cure for Cabin Fever

Are you suffering from winter COVID cabin fever? Locked down. Shut in. Alone. Or, nearly alone. Zoom calls don’t help much anymore. Tired of watching TV. Definitely tired of surfing news websites. Tired of it all. All I can offer is this—it may not seem like much, but I believe it has the potential to help in unexpected ways:

A good story, a good book that will take you away to another time and place—maybe that would help. Oh, you’ve tried that already? Yes I now, there are lots of great books out there. But the problem is, once you close the book, especially for the last time, you’re still stuck in today. Well, I’d like to recommend a book that along with taking you to another time and place, might also help you bring some of it back when you return to here and now.

We Called Him Yeshua introduces you to someone who can come back with you once you close the book and return to today. This someone can help you cope with today, and even thrive.

How is that possible? Well, the story introduces you to Jesus Christ in a way more intimate than maybe you’ve ever felt. And by the time you finish the story, close the book for the last time, and return to the here and now, you’ll be able to bring Jesus with you. And I don’t mean that figuratively. I’m talking about the actual and real presence of the Spirit of Jesus. You need never be alone again.

So what exactly is this piece of historical fiction about?

The story shows you the human side of Jesus as seen through the eyes of people who lived with him during his final weeks on earth. They’ll tell you what they saw and felt, and how they grew closer to Jesus. They’ll tell you of his love, courage, compassion, strength, and humility.

Listen to Anna and others tell you about their experiences with Jesus as they all follow him down that dusty road to Jerusalem. Hear Neri describe what it was like when Jesus healed him of leprosy, or Timaeus tell you about being able to see for the first time in his life, and then Anna, as she falls deeper in love with Jesus. She doesn’t care about his divinity—all she cares for is his humanity.

We call him by his Greek name, Jesus. They called him by his Hebrew name, Yeshua. They knew him not just as a prophet, not just as the Son of God, but they knew him as a friend. As you read their stories, maybe you too will come to know Jesus as your friend.

And if you ask Him, He will come back with you when you close the book and return to today. Get to know Jesus the man—that’s where this book will help—and then let Jesus the Holy Spirit come and live with you in the here and now.

By the way, I’m keeping the price as low as Amazon will allow. Why? Because I want to make the book available to as many people as possible. And these days, money is scarce for many of us.

(Link to Amazon book page)


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WWJD 2.0

What Would Jesus Do? Somewhere around here I think I still have a colorful wristband with WWJD on it, and even a necktie. I don’t know if it’s still a popular slogan, but I remember using it many years ago when I helped lead a church youth group. The problem was, WWJD became so widespread and so popular that I think it sometimes lost its meaning, which is, if Jesus found himself in my situation, what would He do.

I reminded myself of the WWJD thing this morning, as I was reading something in my Bible. Lots of messages in there that basically encourage us to do as Jesus would do. Good advice. But with us, it’s doomed to failure.

For me to do as Jesus would do is simply impossible. I know. I’ve tried. Whenever Jesus told us to do as He would do, He knew exactly how futile our efforts would be. He knew it would be impossible for us to always do as he would do. Yet as he also told us, what’s impossible for us is possible for God (Luke 18:27).

So, why did Jesus tell us to do the impossible? Because he wants to bring us to a state of despair over our own weak and failing efforts so that we will finally surrender to him and let His Spirit live through us. By His Spirit, Jesus can do what only He can do, what’s impossible for me to do.

WWJD is still a good slogan, but it needs a redefinition, a reboot. Instead of What Would Jesus Do, how about What Will Jesus Do? Instead of being a statement of reflection and struggling for impossibilities, it could be a statement of anticipation of certainties. Instead of being a question of what I might do under my own power, it becomes a question of what Jesus will do within me by His power.

How you choose to ask this WWJD question may indicate how you choose to consider Jesus. Do you see Him as a passive influence in your life? Or, do you see Him as alive, God’s Son actively involved? If you believe, you can live looking forward to what the Spirit of Jesus might do next in your life.


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Discovering the Spirit of Jesus Within You

It seems the Spirit of Jesus is often ignored in many Christian churches and individual lives. Because of that, I’ve become passionate about spreading the truth of the reality of the Spirit. I’ve frequently let that passion spill into my blog posts.

But I now wonder if I leave people with an annoying question. They may come to accept the reality of the Holy Spirit, but how do they experience the Spirit in their own life? How do they come to actually feel His presence?

I think we sometimes believe there’s a mystery behind such things, some puzzle to solve where the clues are scattered throughout the Bible. Only when we uncover the hidden clues and solve that puzzle, will the secret door be opened and through it will walk the Spirit of Jesus.

Well, over the years I’ve come to realize that the puzzle is only in our imagination (if we choose to imagine such things, that is). As I’ve discovered with many other aspects of Christianity, the answer is clear and simple, and right out front for all to see. God didn’t create puzzles for us to solve, Jesus didn’t create a mysterious and complicated Christianity. It’s humans that have made Christianity complicated.

Okay, enough of my whining—I’m getting off track. I want to answer the question about how people can experience a very real presence of the Spirit of Jesus in their own lives. My explanation is clear and simple. Here goes …

First, get to know the human side of Jesus. Come to know the man. Don’t just look at his divinity. Get to know him by his human love, kindness, compassion, courage, strength, and humility. And begin to see in your mind’s eye how Jesus showed his love for other people when he walked the earth as a man. Like with all your experiences with people, the more you get to know him, the more certain your feelings for him will become. And you may find yourself falling in love with Jesus.

Next, now that you love the human Jesus, you will likely begin to crave to know more of the Spirit side of Jesus. And you’ll start looking for Him.

Finally, as God first promised, “‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declared the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)

And Jesus made it clear and simple—if we love him, He will show Himself to us: “Anyone who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:21)

There is a door, though not a secret one. It stands between you and the Spirit of Jesus. But as Jesus also said, “Knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

So as I see it, and as I’ve experienced, finding and knowing the Spirit of Jesus in your life begins with getting to know the human Jesus. And that’s the only part I can help you with. The next stage, the love for Jesus stage, will have to come from you. And the final step on this short journey will be taken by Jesus, as His Spirit steps through that door and into your life.

To help with my small contribution to this journey, I wrote the novel, We Called Him Yeshua. The stories will introduce you to a human side of Jesus you may never have seen before. These stories are also told from a perspective you may not have seen before—through the eyes of people who knew the man Jesus in their own very personal ways.

Would you like to know more of the human side of Jesus? If so, please check out We Called Him Yeshua. It’s priced as low as Amazon will allow because I want it to be affordable to as many people as possible (especially during these tough times).

(Link to Amazon book page)

 

 


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We Called Him Yeshua

I’ve just revised my book description on Amazon. I think it’s better than it used to be. I’ve copied it below. Also, I’m keeping the price of the ebook and paperback as low as Amazon will allow. I’m not looking to make money with this book–I just want to make it available to as many people as possible. Especially during these tough times when so many people are out of work, I wish I could give these away for free. Anyway, please let me know what you think of the revised book description and my pricing strategy. Thank you, and I hope you have a really nice day.

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Oh, she’d heard about him. The name Yeshua had dominated many whispered conversations in the towns and villages around the Galilee. And if the rumors were true, Anna knew to stay away from him, far away. She knew his type, and she didn’t need the scorn. But then it happened, she couldn’t stop it, and Anna’s life changed forever. She saw the change coming, and worried—was it change for better, or worse?

Listen to Anna and others tell you about their experiences with Yeshua as they all follow him down that dusty road to Jerusalem. Hear Neri describe what it was like when Yeshua healed him of leprosy, or Timaeus tell you about being able to see for the first time in his life, and then Anna, as she falls deeper in love with Yeshua. She doesn’t care about his divinity—all she cares for is his humanity. Yet as her love grows, so grows her fear.

You know him by his Greek name, as Jesus Christ. They knew him by his Hebrew name. Read their stories and experience what it was like to walk with Yeshua, to talk with him, and to feel his love, courage, and humility.

What readers have said (from Amazon reviews):

  • “I really enjoyed reading this book as it brought the characters of the Bible to life. It seemed like I was reading personal diaries of some of the people that Jesus lived with and miraculously changed.”
  • “I found myself really enjoying this because it was real. It wasn’t preaching at me, it was telling me story in a very real and human way. I could relate to it.”
  • “I appreciate how the author shows you the compassion, humbleness and gentleness of Jesus as he interacted lovingly with messy people.”
  • “Great talent this writer has to put you in the story.”
  • “I think this book is a great read for people curious about God and Jesus, and offers a glimpse into Jesus’ true nature.”
  • We Called Him Yeshua is subtle and deep at the same time, making for a truly enjoyable and enlightening experience.”

(Link to Amazon page)


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A Good Distraction for These Times

Are you looking for a distraction from all the chaos surrounding you? Would you like to tear your mind away from what’s going on outside and take it for a walk someplace else? To my friends in the US, could you use a distraction from the craziness and stress of the presidential election? And of course, there’s the pandemic.

Please consider checking out We Called Him Yeshua, a historical fiction story about Jesus, told through the eyes of some of the people who were drawn to him as he walked the roads of ancient Israel. That might be a nice place for you to visit and get away from the present-day chaos for a bit. And as one of the Amazon reviewers has said,

“I could read this book again and again. It made the people of that time so real. Really made me realize the difficulty of just surviving. The hardships of day to day living that we don’t have in today’s world. But the hardships of today’s society makes me think which would I choose? Great talent this writer has to put you in the story. I could almost feel the heat, taste the dust and feel the hardships these people lived. As well as the joy of being in the presence of our Lord. Oh how well he wrote of the personal closeness He had with each person. Highly recommend this book. It’s a keeper. One I will read again and again.” (Peggy Amend, Amazon review)

Click here to go to Amazon book page.