Related to: 'Christian Basics'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder Paperbacks

I Believe in Preaching

John Stott
Authors:
John Stott

Is preaching dead - or at least dying? In a digital age, where congregations have unprecedented access to resources, do we still need sermons?John Stott's I BELIEVE IN PREACHING has been essential reading for ministers, students and lay preachers for over three decades. Its message is as relevant today as ever.'I do believe in preaching. . . I believe that nothing is better calculated to restore health and vitality to the Church or to lead its members into maturity in Christ than a recovery of true, biblical, contemporary preaching.' John StottThis edition also contains a brand new introduction form the original series editor Michael Green.

Adrian Plass

Adrian Plass is one of the most-loved Christian writers in the UK. He is the bestselling author of The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37¾ - which with its various sequels has sold millions of copies around the world. A somewhat bemused Anglican, Adrian and his wife Bridget live in the north of England travel widely to speak in churches, prisons, schools, and at festivals and literary events in the UK and around the world.

Brian D. McLaren

Brian McLaren is a bestselling author, internationally acclaimed speaker and outspoken advocate for 'a new kind of Christianity'. Named one of Time magazine's 25 most influential Evangelical Christians, McLaren was a pastor for over 20 years. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programmes, and an in-demand blogger on faith and public policy (brianmclaren.net). @brianmclaren

Brother Andrew

Brother Andrew was born in Holland and became a Christian while serving in the Dutch army. After leaving the army he applied for Bible school in the UK and studied at the Bible Training Institute (now the International Christian College) in Glasgow, Scotland. He has worked tirelessly to strengthen the persecuted church all over the world, encouraging believers in their faith and sharing the gospel with some of the most unlikely people.His book GOD'S SMUGGLER tells the story of the start of his work, smuggling Bibles into communist countries illegally during the Cold War, which developed into the worldwide ministry now called Open Doors International. GOD'S SMUGGLER became an international best-seller with over ten million copies sold in English.After the fall of communism in Europe, Brother Andrew shifted his focus to China and the Middle East, and the incredible story of his ongoing ministry can be read in his next book LIGHT FORCE.His most recent book is SECRET BELIEVERS: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MUSLIMS TURN TO CHRIST?.

David Suchet

David Suchet CBE is an acclaimed British actor. He has enjoyed great success with the RSC and in London's West End. He is best known in television for his portrayal of Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot. He is also a practising Anglican. In 2012 he made a series for the BBC called 'In the Footsteps of St Paul'. Follow him on Twitter @David_Suchet

Diana Cooper

Diana Cooper received an angel visitation during a time of personal crisis, which changed her life. Author of 19 books in over 20 languages, she has inspired thousands of people to fulfil their spiritual potential. Diana is known for her work with angels, unicorns, ascension, Atlantis, Orbs and 2012. Through her guides and angels she enables people to access their spiritual gifts and psychic potential and also connects them to their own angels, guides, Masters and unicorns.Diana is the Principal of The Diana Cooper School, a not for profit organisation which offers certificated spiritual teaching courses throughout the world.www.dianacooper.com

Donald Miller

Donald Miller grew up in Houston, Texas, in the shadow of the Astrodome. He left Houston at 21 in a Volkswagen van and travelled through America stopping in Portland, Oregon where he audited classes at Reed College, then selected as the most godless campus in the country. His books Through Painted Deserts and the New York Times bestselling Blue Like Jazz came out of his travels, and Don followed those up with Searching for God Knows What. Then after thirty years of no interaction with his father, Don found his biological Dad and wrote about it in a book called FATHER FICTION. About that time, he started The Mentoring Project, an organization that seeks to inspire and equip faith communities to mentor fatherless boys. Don's work with The Mentoring Project led the Obama administration to invite him onto the Presidential Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families. Last year, along with the Ride:Well Team, Don rode his bicycle across America in an effort to raise money to drill wells in Sub-Saharan Africa. This experience provided material for his newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (also a New York Times bestseller). Donald Miller is a sought-after speaker. He has appeared at such diverse events as The Democratic National Convention and the Veritas Forum at Harvard. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his dog Lucy.

Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson was a pastor, author, scholar and poet. He grew up in Montana and earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. He served as a pastor for 29 years and then became Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, retiring in 2006.Eugene Peterson is perhaps best known for his book THE MESSAGE: THE BIBLE IN CONTEMPORARY LANGUAGE and is also known for his involvement in the Renovaré spiritual formation movement. The books in his spiritual theology series, including THE JESUS WAY and PRACTISE RESURRECTION, are widely acclaimed.After retiring from full-time teaching, Eugene and his wife Jan lived in the Big Sky Country of rural Montana. Eugene Peterson died in October 2018.

G K Chesterton

G. K. Chesterton ranks alongside C. S. Lewis as one of the twentieth century's leading Christian thinkers and writers. He is perhaps best known for his much-loved Father Brown series of detective stories.

Gerard Hughes

Gerard W. Hughes is author of God Of Surprises, God, Where Are You?, In Search Of A Way and Walk To Jerusalem. He now works on the development of a spirituality for people who are active in peace and justice work and is based in Birmingham.

J.I. Packer

J. I. Packer is an eminent theologian. Professor Emeritus at Regent College, Vancouver, he is a bestselling author known the world over for such classics as Knowing God. He is considered to be one of the most important evangelical theologians of the late 20th century.

J. John

J.John is the UK's leading Evangelist and founder of the Philo Trust. He is regarded as one of the most creative speakers with an appeal that transcends gender, age, race, culture and occupation. His much-loved art of storytelling helps people to discover spiritual meaning in a way that makes sense of everyday life.He is an international speaker and writer, with a style that is refreshing, humorous, passionate and earthy. He has spoken to thousands of people all over the world, and has written over twenty books.His latest book, THE HAPPINESS SECRET, takes a look at the most famous sayings of Jesus - the Beatitudes - to find clues to embracing a life of joy and fulfilment. He unpacks each of Jesus' great sayings, placing them in their first-century context and also revealing how they are applicable to our lives today.J.John is married to Killy and has three sons Michael, Simeon and Benjamin. He lives in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, England.

Jackie Pullinger

Jackie Pullinger-To is a British woman who lives and works among the poor, the homeless and the drug addicts of Hong Kong.Over thirty years ago she went to Hong Kong on a one way ticket, and arrived knowing no one with just $100 HK in her pocket. She lived and worked in Kowloon's notorious 'Walled City' and by 1981 she had set up the St Stephen's Society, which provides rehabilitation homes for recovering drug addicts, prostitutes, and gang members. By December 2007 it had grown to provide homes for 200 people. The charity's work has been recognized by the Hong Kong government who donated the land for the rehabilitation homes.Jackie's story is told in her renowned book Chasing the Dragon and she still lives in Hong Kong and runs the St Stephen's Society.

James Bryan Smith

James Bryan Smith is assistant professor of practical theology and chaplain at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.Through his work with Richard Foster's Renovare organisation, James Bryan Smith is emerging as a spiritual leader for a new generation.

Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-four internationally bestselling novels, including My Sister's Keeper, The Storyteller and Small Great Things, and has also co-written two YA books with her daughter Samantha van Leer, Between the Lines and Off the Page. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and children. Jodi's UK website is www.jodipicoult.co.uk and she can be found on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/JodiPicoultUK and twitter.com/jodipicoult, and on Instagram at instagram.com/jodipicoult.

John Eldredge

JOHN ELDREDGE is the founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs. John has written numerous books, including Epic, Waking the Dead, Wild at Heart, Desire and Beautiful Outlaw, and is the co-author of Captivating, The Sacred Romance and Love & War. John has been married to Stasi for twenty-five years and they have three sons.

John Van Sloten

John Van Sloten is a pastor, teacher and writer who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. For the past 20 years he's been exploring a worldview that seeks to discern God's voice in all things: the Bible, the arts, sport, science, film, music, literature, history, maths, nature and human nature. John's first book, The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything (Square Inch, August 2010), listened for God's whispers in pop culture. John has been the recipient of two John Templeton Foundation grants, exploring the intersection of faith and science in the context of preaching.

Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is a global religious leader, philosopher, the author of more than twenty-five books, and a moral voice for our time. Described by H.R.H The Prince of Wales as 'a light unto this nation', he is a frequent and respected contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britian and around the world.Admired by non-Jews as much as Jews, by secular as well as religious thinkers, and equally at home in the university and the yeshiva, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 until 2013. He read Philosophy at Cambridge before pursuing postgraduate studies at New College, Oxford and King's College, London.

Joyce Meyer

Joyce Meyer is the bestselling author of more than 100 inspirational books, including The Power of Simple Prayer, Approval Addiction, Power Thoughts and Battlefield of the Mind. Joyce's 'Enjoying Everyday Life' radio and television programmes are broadcast around the world, and she travels extensively conducting conferences.

Lorna Byrne

Lorna Byrne has been seeing and talking to angels since she was a baby. Now that her family is raised she talks openly about what she has learned. She lives quietly in rural Ireland. She is the author of the international bestsellers Angels in My Hair, Stairways to Heaven, A Message of Hope from the Angels and Love From Heaven. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. For more information, visit www.lornabyrne.com or follow Lorna on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lornabyrneangels