A couple of words from Gloria Clover to us:
I'm just back to the white box after a week's writing retreat at Keuka Lake in central New York with six of my friends. And friends we are, as well as coworkers in the Kingdom of God. We all come from different home situations, and of the seven of us, I probably have the most ideal situation for daily writing, so these friends of mine look forward to a time set apart. We come to the lake cottage with writing goals (finish an intermediate chapter that will tie a book together, finish a rough draft, write a grad school paper, start a new project, write book reviews that had been dropped in the rush of life), but we come knowing our goals must always yield to God's plan for our week.
Sunday evening after sharing our goals with one another, we drifted into a time of praise and spontaneous hymn singing. No need to be too jealous -- we buckled down to work Monday morning. Why do I share this with you? Because it is an ideal situation to showcase God's desire for the Body to be an encouragement to its members.
1. Believing and acknowledging that the other person has a gift, a Kingdom contribution.
2. Through conversation and manuscript critique, prayer and times of silence, we convey to one another that we have confidence in the importance of other person's gift.
3. That group confidence sparks our individual confidence and ability to believe that we do have a gift and that God is involved in it.
4. By reacting with honesty to what has been written, we show each other that the message has reached its goal of impacting others.
5. Thus we leave encouraged to keep at the race until we cross the finish line into Christ's arms, knowing God is indeed with us every step of the way.
We knew that when we arrived on Sunday, but we KNOW it when we leave the next Sunday. Perhaps that is what God meant when He said, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24, NIV).
Gloria Clover writes The Children of the King series for Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. from her white box in western PA. Book 3, From the Frozen Depths, releases on August 11, 2013.
Excerpt from Book 3,
From the Frozen Depths
Dharani Army Commander Jym Fountayn topped the mountain ridge and leaned against a towering pine's frozen trunk to catch his breath. He scanned the trees along the front line. Where were those blights? Up here, snow swirled in dervishes and covered every reflection of humanity. But he knew they were near, just as surely as he knew his three-man infiltration team, equally invisible, surrounded him.
"Spread out," he ordered his team through their hands-free com-links. They needed to find the enemy's newest weapons before they fired on his army, which marched up the mountain in two columns.
Jym scanned the trees. The enemy could merge into the snowy landscape, but how could they hide their hideous weapons?
"To the left. Third pine beyond the flat boulder." Sharp-eyed Girish's voice exploded in his earbud.
Sure enough. Just off the mountain crest, down in a copse of white pines, through the thickening snow, he could make out a steel contraption about the size of a one-room cabin. "West guard, hold your line. We've found the monster." Straightening, Jym tightened his grip on the ancient semi-automatic rifle and focused on the immediate job with his team. "Kavi, have you spotted the other?"
"Yes, sir. The creature is active!"
Kavi's response arrived moments before a dark hiss and an explosion of snow shot into the sky far to Jym's right, down in the southeastern ravine. "East guard, pull back," Jym ordered. "We'll take it from here."
The east guard's captain would get all the men in the eastern ravine back beyond the reach of the snow devil. They'd done their job in drawing out the enemy's position, but they didn't need casualties in this skirmish. Weekly, their numbers thinned.
Lais would be scouting for Kavi. Girish slipped past Jym on the right and moved across the top of the ridge then dropped back into the tree cover.
Scanning tree trunks with each step, Jym closed in. Where were the enemy guards? Were the blights so assured of their superior weapons they no longer felt the need to guard their rear? All the better. Intel had reported the new weapons were self-contained -- enemy soldiers fighting from inside the contraption. He relaxed his grip on the rifle and pulled a grenade from his jacket pocket.
"In position, Commander." Kavi was ready, too.
"Let's do this." Jym pulled the pin and launched the grenade in a perfect arc. It hit the side of the monster and dropped straight down into the snow. "Fire in the hole!"
He ran for the boulder and dived, the countdown continuing in his head. "Seven, six."
"Blight on your left!" Girish yelled. "Move. Move!"
Snow exploded at Jym's feet. He sprang to a crouch and dove again. Cold pain seared into his thigh. He continued to roll.
"I got him!" Girish claimed, but the pain in Jym's leg didn't stop.
Curse the blights. Had they really shot him? After all these years? On such a straightforward mission?
The grenades blew -- his a fast echo of Kavi's. The earth shuddered and the snow shifted beneath him. He heard the screech of metal rending and the thuds as pieces of the monster pounded into the snow, but Jym couldn't raise his head to verify his own success.
"Mission accomplished." Kavi's voice held satisfaction.
Pull it together, man. It barely grazed you. Jym rolled to his knees. They'd shot him with a freeze ray. Pain swamped him, driving out his intent to stand. The world spun and the gray sky loomed over him.
"Commander? Commander, can you hear me?"
Girish's call came from a great distance. Jym could hear, but he couldn't form words.
"The commander's down! I repeat, the commander is down."
"What do we do?" That question didn't come through his earbud, but from Lais, the youngest member of his team, now hovering over him.
Get me to my feet. That's what he wanted to say. The words formed in his brain, then dissolved.
Girish reached down and hauled him up by one arm. "Get his other side."
Lais scrambled to obey, and Jym found himself dragged across the frozen terrain.
"We need air support. Now!" Girish's command exploded in Jym's earbud, jarring his mind.
They weren't going to let him die. They were going to try to save him. He should have known. He would do the same for them. Only now he couldn't even get his legs to hold him upright, couldn't find the words to tell them to let him go. Their voices drifted in and out off the com-link.
"He always said to let him die."
"He didn't mean it."
"I think he did."
Girish grunted. "Never mind my personal affection for the cocky kid, we cannot afford to lose him. Dharani Island will fall to the blights."
"The commander's strong. Maybe he'll be able to..."
Unable to keep his eyes open, Jym imagined the pitying looks that silenced Lais's optimistic -- but stupid -- hope. No one survived the freeze ray without help, without a...
Drop in and take a moment to answer Gloria's question for you!