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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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Hearts Afire: They Met Jesus by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Posted by Julie on April 14, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

HEARTS AFIRE

Novel #3 of “They Met Jesus”

 

Things begin to heat up in book three.  Jesus recruits Simon the feared radical, Matthew Levi the hated tax collector, and Judas the admired banker. Does Jesus know what he is getting into with these three?

His miracles get more astounding. He communicates with demons dwelling in otherwise holy people. In fact, he takes control of the demons in the synagogue where those possessed continue to attend in hopes of fighting the demons. What better place could they go?

Then there are the lepers. The reader gets to know one of them intimately as he his face begins to have leprous bumps on it and he tries to pretend they are not there so he can continue his lucrative construction business.  Then the day comes he must do it, for he cannot hide or deny it any longer. He leaves his house and wife for the last time, wraps a scarf around his face, and for the first time cries out that which he had dreaded: “Unclean. Unclean.” How would you feel at a time like this?

Jesus turns lives upside down and right side up again: The demon possessed, lepers, the paralyzed.

Then he chooses his twelve ambassadors, his twelve apostles, and what a mess.  How in the world is he going to be able to control them so that they get along?  Matthew works for the foreign Roman government, and Simon attacks them. Peter talks all the time while Thaddeus is quiet. John tries to stop outsiders while Andrew welcomes outsiders. James wants to bring fire down on his enemies, while Thomas declares they should die with Jesus. Philip is a fanatic for facts, while Nathaniel knew Jesus was the Son of God the moment he met him. James the Less cares nothing for money while Judas loves money.

But they all do their part to help and protect Jesus when thousands rush to be touched by him. They divide up and march three on each side, and three front and back as a barrier so he can move more freely.

By now he is so popular, the chief priests and elders at the temple fear the people will make him king and they will lose their jobs. Jesus must be stopped. So, by the end of his first year of public ministry, his life is in danger. It will take them two years to kill Jesus. They will plot and twist things around and verbally attack and lie and spit and growl. They are determined to win.

In the meantime, Jesus goes out, defying them again. He attends the funeral of a boy and brings him back to life. Over and over he outsmarts his enemies. They will not be allowed to kill him until he lets them.

Come. Read book three and get caught up in the political and religious turmoil Jesus is creating among everyone who meets Jesus.

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 Hearts Afire HERE

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Lazarus: The Samaritan by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Posted by Julie on March 3, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

LAZARUS: THE SAMARITAN

Lazarus lives a complicated life. He is a Samaritan who married a Jewess.  He is estranged from his brothers because their father willed him his prize Arabian steed. He supports himself as a road worker in his youth when his Arabian meets his future wife’s delicate Egyptian horse. Her brother hates him and her snobbish mother constantly insults him.

Her brother enslaves him in a copper mine down at the top of the Red Sea near where southern Israel and Arabia meet.  Eventually through a mess of twists and turns, he becomes a copper mine owner and gets rich.

His sister is the “Woman at the Well” Jesus talked to. Having five husbands does not mean she was a wonton woman. In the story, all die of accidents (one of them on the road to Jericho) or diseases. By the time she meets Jesus, she decides to send her live-in on his way. Jesus stays three days in the city, she introduces him to her brother and their family, and they are baptized in the reflecting pool of the estate his wife inherited.

Zarus, as he is called in the book, lives through forty of Jesus’ parables. These parables come alive as his mine workers beat a servant to death to take over the mine, his youngest son grows up, gets his inheritance, and goes to China where he nearly starves to death. His daughter grows up and marries a sea captain, and he is so late to the wedding that five of her ten virgin maidens run out of oil waiting for him on the docks.

His father, original owner of the mine has great plans and builds bigger warehouses for the increased copper production, but dies that night. Lazarus’ widowed mother-in-law loses the family estate, and she appeals to an evil judge and pesters him to death until he finally relents and gets her estate back for her. His sister’s husband is robbed and beaten on the road to Jericho and left for dead until Lazarus, “The Good Samaritan” sees him and takes him into the city. There is a mine collapse, and ninety-nine workers survive, but Lazarus goes into the dangerous mine to see out the one.

My readers love trying to guess which parable he is living through as they read each chapter. (At the end of each chapter I quote the actual parable in italics.)

This is the story of rags to riches and back to rags again. It is the story of a strange courtship, a marriage with three children and ongoing romance of husband and wife, betrayals, treacheries, celebrations, overcoming—everything that Jesus put into his amazing parables.

Read this book to be amazed at the new insights you gain by going through life with Lazarus: The Samaritan.

This, by the way, is the first book in the historical novel series: INTREPID MEN OF GOD. This series has remained in the top ten in their category on Amazon since their beginning last year. One woman contacted me and said, “I want to order six more copies and send them to my family members.”

 

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 Lazarus the Samaritan HERE

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Paul: The Unstoppable by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

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

PAUL: THE UNSTOPPABLE

I would have hated to be the apostle Paul’s parents while he was growing up. I can imagine them telling him not to do something, but he wouldn’t stop. So, they would punish him. Then he’d turn right around and do it again. What a stubborn child he would have been and stubborn man he grew up to be.

Don’t be shocked, but I made Paul (called Shaul by Hebrews) a boxer and runner in the book, at least in his youth. He had to have been a strong man to have survived treading water “in the deep a day and a night”.  Plus he wrote of winning the fight and boxing and running the race several times.

Paul, the unstoppable, spends his life making up for torturing and killing Christians in his youth. He is driven. To Paul, it is never enough. Gradually, he loses the strength of his youth.

Warning: My book is graphic. Over and over he was beaten with rods and whip lashed and even stoned. I go into slow motion to describe what is happening to him at such times. I, personally, am scared to death to watch horror movies. But I had to include the violence he endured because that was Paul’s reality.  Gritting his teeth, he must have strained his neck muscles and called out “Jesus, this is for you!” Can’t you hear him?

What can I say about such a man? I wrote 550 pages walking with him and all he must have gone through for thirty-five years until his death. The scar tissue on his back must have built up on top of older ones until his back was in constant pain just from the scar tissue. Medical science says scar tissue is twenty times more sensitive to touch than normal skin. But he kept going. City after city. Facing floods, snow, robbers, hunger, ship wrecks, imprisonments, humiliations. But he couldn’t stop.

Why? Love. He loved people so much, he was willing to endure their hatred in order to snatch them away from the gates of hell. Can we do that? Dare we do that? Go through all that Paul did? Or perhaps a fraction of it? To Paul, even in the dank, urine smelling, mold growing, rat infested cell where he sat on the slippery cold stone floor in chains the last few days of his life, he had never done enough.

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 PAUL: The Unstoppable HERE

 

 

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Luke: Slave & Physician by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

Posted by Julie on February 3, 2017 in encouragement, God's Word, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

LUKE: SLAVE & PHYSICIAN

 

Physicians were always slaves in first century Roman Empire. Each wealthy household had their own physician, and Caesar began telling his military to have a physician follow them around. This means that “Luke, the beloved physician” that wrote the gospel of Luke and Acts of the Apostles was written by a slave or perhaps a freed slave.

This says a lot about Luke’s character. He is apparently not bitter.  He rises above what life has handed him.  In early millenniums of history, during war the losing side’s soldiers paid for their loss the rest of their life, for they were made slaves of the winning side.

I investigated major battles of the Romans in the first century and just prior, and found a major battle that took place in Germanica in the area of today’s Holland. It was the Battle of Baduhenna Wood, AD 28.  Since he seemed to be younger than Paul, I made Luke eight years old when his Viking father apparently was killed, and Luke became a slave. That would have made him about fifteen years younger than Paul.

Despite all this, he apparently did not show bitterness toward his master. What master would provide an education for a bitter slave? This slave was taught to write. Not only that, but his style of writing was almost in the classical style.  His master gave him a good education.

Perhaps he had always had a knack for treating people’s wounds and diseases. His master apparently let him apprentice to someone in order to become a physician. Would a master have provided this kind of education/apprenticeship to a bitter slave?

Luke did not meet Paul until around 51 AD.  What does Luke do with his life those twenty plus years? If he was captured during war by Roman troops, whoever took him probably remained in the military. Men signing up for the military signed up for thirty years.  So, it is likely he was with the Roman army most of that time.

In Luke: Slave and Physician he is never sure his father was actually killed. All anyone knows is that he was not there at the end of the Battle of Baduhenna Wood. Throughout the rest of the book, every place he goes, he walks around singing a little song his father had taught him, hoping to find his father someday. He could have been bitter because of losing his father at such a young age.

It wasn’t until he met Paul that he learned about Christianity. Luke was not only a slave all those years, but he was a pagan. He probably many gods. Because he was so open to Christianity, he must have struggled all those years with his beliefs. At one point in my book he climbs Mount Olympus which is near Berea in Greece, so he can interview the gods themselves. Of course, he does not find them, and his anger at the non-existent gods grows.

Throughout Luke: Slave and Physician, Luke is involved in military affairs as his regiment moves from fort to fort. Being blonde because of his Nordic heritage, he becomes a spy for them and goes down into Parthia which Rome was never able to conquer. He is gone several years surviving mining disasters, deathly heat in the deserts and mining accidents. He also meets a young lady and falls in love with her, but she is kidnapped and taken to Kandahar. He follows her there and…well, I’m about to tell you too much.

In my book, Luke writes his gospel and Acts after Paul dies. By then, the apostles have scattered. He travels the world to find them, and usually they are in the midst of some kind of predicament with the local pagans.

Through it all, Luke never becomes bitter.  How could a bitter man write two books of the Bible?

Are you bitter? Do you know anyone who is? Let Luke, slave and physician be your encourager.

 

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 LUKE: Slave and Physician HERE

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MEFIBOSET: The Crippled Prince by Katheryn Maddox Haddad

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

MEFIBOSET: THE CRIPPLED PRINCE

 

Some of the most inspirational people I have known have had handicaps of some kind. You know the kind I mean: You go to see them to encourage them, and come away feeling on top of the world because they had encouraged you.

Poor Mefiboset (spelled Mephiboshet in most Bible translations ~ too hard to pronounce, and too long to fit on a book title) has suffered degredation in every article I have read about him, not counting references to him in sermons and books.  All I can think when encountering them is, “Oh, brother!”

First, Mefiboset was grandson of King Saul who was probably seven feet tall.  Have you ever seen a six-foot man standing next to a basketball player? The player is head and shoulder taller than the six-footer.  Plus the Bible says Saul was the most handsome man in all of Israel. Wouldn’t you think Saul’s sons and grandson were close to his height and good looks?

Another method Bible “scholars” use to degrade this crown prince is to describe the place where he grew up as desolate and worthless.  Yet, Lodebar was ten miles southeast of the Sea of Galilee on a healthy river out of the mountains and near the crossroads of international trade routes.

There are other ways people degrade Mefiboset. They overlook the fact that he married, had a son, and had four grandchildren.  He spent his entire adult life either living in his grandfather’s palace or David’s palace.

THEREFORE, my book about Mefiboset: The Crippled Prince portrays a man with father Jonathan’s positive attitude, and his grandfather’s height and good looks. He loves an adventure. He laughs easily and sees the best in every bad situation and person.

You will come away from reading this book feeling good about yourself and everyone else around you. Rather than depressing, this is a fun book to read, one that will stick with you from then on.

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 Mefiboset: The Crippled Prince HERE

 



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