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Come Fly With Me: They Met Jesus by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Posted by Julie on July 7, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

COME FLY WITH ME

Novel #8 in THEY MET JESUS series

 

 

Oh what delight it was to write this last book in the series. Jesus came back to life in the last half of novel 7 and appeared to the women and Peter and two men on the road. In this last novel Jesus appears several time to his apostles. He spends time with them answering their questions and training them just a little more with the time that is left.

I loved the chapter called “Power Surge”. That is where he appears to 500 followers all at once and greets them all.  The shepherds are now old, one wise man happens to be there when it happens. He greets people he has worked miracles on. Last he greets his family—Mary, his sisters, and his brothers. All but James; they couldn’t convince him to come. All the time James was growing up at Joseph’s oldest son, he had resented Jesus dominating everything. So Jesus appears alone to James back in his home. They talk. James is shocked and all his beliefs shattered. In the end he bows to his brother who was actually the Son of God.

Then Jesus takes his twelve to their old encampment on the Mount of Olives. Everyone is quiet. They know. Somehow they know. He stops. “Don’t go, Jesus.”

Jesus does go, they recover, and ten days later they receive a special gift to instantly speak in foreign languages. They go up on the roof of the old hostel they bought as their headquarters. They preach to the mob that had demanded Jesus’ crucifixion, three on each side. Peter’s sermon is recorded. “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.” Three thousand do.

They are confronted by the Sanhedrin which had thought they had won. They beat and imprison the apostles, but the apostles turn right around and show up at the temple to teach again. Shortly five thousand more are baptized. The new church grows like wildfire. A few years later, Stephen is stoned to death by the holy Sanhedrin.  Later, one of their own—James—is beheaded. Persecution grows rampant and Christians scatter, The apostles stick it out.

After nineteen years, Thaddeus announces he is leaving. “Jesus told us to go into all the world. If you’re not going to do it, that’s your choice. I’m leaving.”  Their children have had time to grow up. Now with a few gray hairs, they know it is time for them all to leave. They have one last evening alone together talking about the old days in their youth with their Jesus.

Within the next couple of decades, most of them are tortured to death. All but John. Now in his nineties and exiled to an island, he shuffles along the beach, mostly praying. One day he sees someone shining bright walking up the beach toward him. He knows. He had seen that same glow sixty years earlier on the mountain. It is his Jesus. John is taken on a tour of heaven, a glance into hell, and back to heaven.

Then, guided by his Jesus, he is returned to the little island on earth. Jesus stays only momentarily and begins to back away. As he hovers, then rises higher and higher he calls out to John, “I am coming to get you soon.”

Me too, Jesus? Me too?

Katheryn Haddad was born in the cold north, but now lives in Arizona where she does not have to shovel sunshine. She enjoys hot weather, palm trees and cacti in her yard, and a computer with the letters worn off.
With a bachelor’s degree in English, Bible and social science from Harding University and part of a master’s degree in Bible, including Greek, from the Harding Graduate School of Theology, she also has a master’s degree in management and human relations from Abilene University.
Her newspaper column appeared for several years in newspapers in Texas and North Carolina ~ Little Known Facts About the Bible ~ and she has written for numerous Christian publications.
Currently she teaches English over the internet every morning, using the Bible as a text book. Most of her students are Muslims. She has taught some 6000 thus far, and has former students, now Christians, in hiding in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, and Palestine. “They are my heroes” she declares.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers of the West, and is also an energetic public speaker who can touch the heart of audiences.

Website: http://inspirationsbykatheryn.com

Purchase Come Fly with Me HERE

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Wholly Loved

Posted by Julie on June 27, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

It’s been busy yet again, but I have great news!

 

ENGAGED is available! Right now it’s ready for electronic devices, and the print version will be early July. If you don’t have a Kindle, no worries. Download the free Amazon Kindle app and start reading on your device!

I’ll talk more about ENGAGED this week, but right now I wanted to let you know I share some very transparent and vulnerable thoughts with the Wholly Loved team today. It started with a bird feeder I wanted on Amazon and how I thought about our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Read An Open Invitation (With an Add-On Clause) HERE

I love how Jennifer challenged me to dig deeper with this post, because I had to confront feelings that aren’t quite resolved. From that is coming a beautiful dialogue with readers on the Wholly Loved Facebook page. I hope you will join me there!

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Shadow of Death: They Met Jesus by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Posted by Julie on June 16, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

SHADOW OF DEATH

Novel #7 in THEY MET JESUS series

 

It’s now 6:00 AM and the Temple hierarchy has managed to find liars to testify against Jesus in their middle-of-the-night illegal court.  They can already smell Jesus’ blood. They drag him through the street to Governor Pilot’s palace. Rome controls all executions. Pilate interviews Jesus in private. It doesn’t take Pilate long to realize he is standing before greatness. He decides to save Jesus’ life by having him scourged with iron bits on the tips of the whip. Jesus’ back turns to raw meat.

Barely alive (most people die of scourging), Jesus is presented to the “holy” mob. They still are not satisfied. “Crucify! Crucify!” The death penalty is granted. It takes two chapters in my book to struggle with Jesus on the cross.  This is some of it (which I wrote fifty years ago when I was 17):

The pain. The writhing, seething, shooting pain. How can another moment be like the last? It can’t. But it is.

Uhhhhhh…

On and on, endlessly, each joint screaming, calling out for mercy. Relieve me! Relieve me! But there is no relief.

Uhhhhhh…

Still the pain. The pain that shoots through the body like fire arrows. The pain that tangles up the muscles like fish in a net. The pain that mounts, ebbs, then comes back more horrible than before.

“Aggghhhh.”

“…Oh, my God, my God… Keep me strong. Strong for them.”

“Aggghhhh.”

…On and on, deeper and deeper. Harsh, horrible, hideous, hanging on, never letting go. No relief, no release, no anything but this excruciating pain. Oh the pain…

The spasms. The unrelenting spasms. They’re back. They knot Jesus’ feet and twist them, involuntarily pulling at the rusty stake.

Uhhhaaah!

Jesus, God is nearby. He’s touching your feverish brow and enveloping you in his love. And the angels. They’re preparing for your homecoming. Remember? Remember how it used to be?

The longer Jesus’ weight is carried by the spikes, the more his joints slip out of their proper location. The droning of his pain slips almost secretly from his nerves and little by little sneaks into his bones.

Harder and harder it becomes for Jesus to claim his next breath. Still harder to exhale.

His muscles shattered, his shoulder bones dislocated, part of him dehydrating, part of him bloating.

“Uhhhhcgk.”

The rhythm of indistinct breathing interrupted only by the spasms that gradually creep up his legs.

Ahhhhhhh!

Jesus’ heavy laden heart struggles with his dehydrated broken body to pump thick, heavy, sluggish blood to a resistant, barely living being.

“I…uhhhhcgk…thirst,” he whispers.

One last request. It is time to will himself to die.

Can they refuse? No! Look! Someone has had mercy on you, Son of God! He’s taking a sponge dipped in vinegar, and now…and now…he is offering it to you, thirsty Savior. A drink.

With the weariness of dying, Jesus takes the vinegar and it momentarily helps the nausea.

His tormented swollen heart labors slower and slower.

Gradually and increasingly surrounded by a contemptible, mocking serum, his heart strains even harder as it struggles to pump just a few more drops of blood.

Slower it pumps, and slower…

…Everything is getting so dim, so hazy, so blurry…

Where is everything going?

Around and around. Spinning, spinning, back, farther and farther, faster, faster, faster!

He groans.

“It…uhhhhcgk…is…uhhhhcgk…finished…”

Finished. Your work all completed. Everything as you knew it would be. And now, oh Lamb of God, die! The sacrifice is completed. But for your sins, Son of God? No, of course not. You have none. You’ve been perfect, unselfish one, from your human birth, the whole way. All of this has been for the others.

…Everything is drifting so far away…

So far away…

So far away.

So lonely…

No one here…

So hazy…All alone…

Forsaken…

Desolate…

…Something drawing… something… something drawing you to it. What is it? Where is it coming from?

Look up! But the pain—the cramping relentless pain.

Merciless.

Torturing to the very end.

But look up.

Look up!

Quick!

Don’t you see?

He calls out.

“Father!”

Yes, he’s coming for you!

“Father…uhhhhcgk… I know…uhhhhcgk…you’re there.

My spirit…uhhhhcgk…it’s yours!”

Just a little more now!

Just a little closer…

Jesus’ head lifts up in all the defiance of death. His body jerks and writhes, his knotted muscles strain.

Just a little closer now…

His heart swells…

Trembles…

Bursts.

And with a loud piercing cry that shakes the foundations of the earth, Jesus sends his liberated spirit rushing at last to the outstretched arms of God.

OH, MY SON!  MY SON!

(Later in this volume is his resurrection and appearances to his startled friends.)

Katheryn Haddad was born in the cold north, but now lives in Arizona where she does not have to shovel sunshine. She enjoys hot weather, palm trees and cacti in her yard, and a computer with the letters worn off.
With a bachelor’s degree in English, Bible and social science from Harding University and part of a master’s degree in Bible, including Greek, from the Harding Graduate School of Theology, she also has a master’s degree in management and human relations from Abilene University.
Her newspaper column appeared for several years in newspapers in Texas and North Carolina ~ Little Known Facts About the Bible ~ and she has written for numerous Christian publications.
Currently she teaches English over the internet every morning, using the Bible as a text book. Most of her students are Muslims. She has taught some 6000 thus far, and has former students, now Christians, in hiding in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, and Palestine. “They are my heroes” she declares.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers of the West, and is also an energetic public speaker who can touch the heart of audiences.

Website: http://inspirationsbykatheryn.com

Purchase SHADOW of DEATH HERE

 

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Star Song: They Met Jesus by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Posted by Julie on March 17, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

 

STAR SONG

Novel #1 of THEY MET JESUS

 

Star Song is the Christmas story, the first of eight lyrical novels on the life of Christ through the eyes of one hundred people who met and struggled with him.

What is a lyrical novel? It is one that is written to teach lessons.  To Kill a Mockingbird is a lyrical novel. So are Moby Dick and Grapes of Wrath.  A lyrical novel is about a person or persons with inner struggles.

In order to make these people come to life for you, I wrote them in present tense. It allows you to crawl inside the skin of the characters. I even give you, the reader, a chance to talk to the characters. When the angel appears to Mary, the reader chimes in and says, “Come on, Mary. You can do this. You believed part of what the angel said. Believe the rest. You can do this, Mary. Try. Really try.”

Star Song is set in Palestine dominated by cruel King Herod who did not hesitate to kill family members to protect his throne. Amidst national turmoil, the Prince of Peace is born, and everyone involved in his birth has a personal struggle of their own: “Is he really the Son of God? If so, how do I tell other people who probably won’t believe and will turn on me instead?”

Mary is visited by an angel who announces she’s going to be the unwed mother of God’s Son.  How long does it take him to convince her?

Elizabeth goes into seclusion when she becomes pregnant in her old age.  Will her shyness get in the way of raising a future prophet, especially with a husband who cannot talk?

Joseph’s betrayal by Mary pierces his heart like nails. Can he make it through the night without cutting up every board in his workshop the way his dreams have been cut up?

Joseph struggles with those who taunt him for marrying a woman already pregnant, and his inability to even find a bed for Mary and her soon-coming baby in a strange city.

The Shepherds are dirty, smelly, and the dregs of society, but angels appear to them instead of holy people worshiping in the temple at Jerusalem. Will they even know how to act around baby Jesus?

Anna and Simeon live through decades of Roman slaughters right there in the temple, always looking for the Deliverer.  When old and tired, will their faith hold out?

The Wise Men in far-off Persia study a never-before-seen star.  Will the holy books of their gods help them find its meaning before the emperor throws them into the lions’ den?

The Wise Men finally decide the star is a sign of a god being born in the west.  They are appointed ambassadors to pay homage.  Will they only attract the attention of the newborn’s enemies?

Zechariah has a son born in his old age.  Will he be able to break little John’s (the Baptist’s) habit of taking after his shy and reclusive mother?

King Archelaus manages to be more savage than the Jews’ cruelest king, his father Herod. The year Jesus is 11, he kills thousands in the temple.  Will the temple ever be safe?

Katheryn Haddad was born in the cold north, but now lives in Arizona where she does not have to shovel sunshine. She enjoys hot weather, palm trees and cacti in her yard, and a computer with the letters worn off.
With a bachelor’s degree in English, Bible and social science from Harding University and part of a master’s degree in Bible, including Greek, from the Harding Graduate School of Theology, she also has a master’s degree in management and human relations from Abilene University.
Her newspaper column appeared for several years in newspapers in Texas and North Carolina ~ Little Known Facts About the Bible ~ and she has written for numerous Christian publications.
Currently she teaches English over the internet every morning, using the Bible as a text book. Most of her students are Muslims. She has taught some 6000 thus far, and has former students, now Christians, in hiding in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Jordan, Uzbekistan, and Palestine. “They are my heroes” she declares.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Christian Writers of the West, and is also an energetic public speaker who can touch the heart of audiences.

Website: http://inspirationsbykatheryn.com

Purchase Star Song HERE

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FREE Novella Available

Posted by Julie on March 2, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

Remember when I said things were pretty busy behind the scenes?

  • I told you about my interview with Blog Talk Radio host Patti Shene and her show, Step Into the Light.

 

  • I announced a new release, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional.

 

MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN was something I included as a thank you to newsletter subscribers who signed up. It’s a contemporary romance about surrendering relationships. What I love about it is it was the first romance I wrote after becoming a Christian. I re worked it a couple years ago and hopefully you will enjoy it. I also am excited because it features the Finger Lakes area, the beautiful region where I grew up in Upstate NY.

How do you access it? Visit the right sidebar of my site (if you are receiving this via email) and it should be right there to click and download. If you have trouble, send me an email at juliearduini@juliearduini.com, or find me across social media @JulieArduini.

 

I have one more announcement coming this week, so stay tuned!

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New Release: Finding Freedom Through Surrender

Posted by Julie on February 28, 2017 in About Me, encouragement, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender, Writing |

It was one of those God taps that I wanted to ignore. Late last year I felt I was supposed to write a devotional using the surrender themes explored in my contemporary romance series, Surrendering Time. Not only that, but write it from the characters point of view. I’d never heard of such a thing, and by obeying, I knew I was delaying book 3, ENGAGED, even more.

But obey I did. It took longer than I thought with unexpected travel and child sickness, but it’s done.

Finding Freedom Through Surrender-A 30 Day Devotional available on Amazon.

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER-A 30 Day Devotional, features short readings on surrendering fear, loss, change, regret, and the future. If you’ve read ENTRUSTED or ENTANGLED, you will visit with beloved characters like Ben, Jenna, Carla, Will, Sara, and more. If the series is new to you, no worries. The devotional will introduce you to the characters without spoilers. Then, once ENGAGED is released this spring, you will be ready to jump in.

It’s in eBook format, so download the free Kindle app and you can read on your phone, tablet, desktop, laptop, and of course, Kindle. It’s only available on Amazon.

I’d love for you to spread the word. Early feedback showed that many of the readings were exactly what readers were struggling with at that time. That’s God, and I’m grateful He allows me to write for Him.

Take a look!

FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER HERE

 



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