Although I also read many other books, I especially enjoy books of the kind I enjoy writing myself of course. Most important to me though are books published by Christian publishers. I know I can trust them not to contain scenes and language I find so offensive they drag me right out of entertaining stories so much it makes me regret spending my money. I love books and it does take a lot to make me want to throw a book at the wall, or even into the garbage bin.
I’ve been a bookworm as long as I can remember. After being old enough to devour all the books on my parent’s shelves, the first actual Christian novel I remember reading was a gift given out to students of my Sunday School. I was only nine years old when given “The Open Door” written by Eileen Heming in the Gateway Series released by Lutterworth Press (London) way back in the 1940s.
As you can see, I still have that book. Over the years I read it so many times the cover became so tattered I carefully covered the book in brown paper and glued the photo of the poor young girl confined to bed on the front. This book had a profound affect on me. It told me how hard it is for anyone confined to lie flat in a bed for many, many months and how different folk from her own church either helped or upset her Then of course there is the day her spine was healed enough for her to actually be able to sit up for a while at the Easter church service.
The injured girl’s name was “Mary” and perhaps also may have been another reason the ups and downs she had to face made me, at such a young age, think deeply about being a Christian.
On the last page, her father tells Mary, “We can look back, now, and see the blessings hidden in everything that’s happened...” and goes on to sum up the good and bad things which had happened to her and the family.
And then these last words were so important for me at that very beginning of my own journey with Jesus:-
“I’m sure I’ve learned more in these last few months than in all the years before,” said Mary. “I feel as if I’d been at school with the Lord Jesus.”
“That’s a very good way of looking at troubles,” said her father. “At school with the Lord Jesus—well, only good can come of that.”
Only six years after being given that book my own father died. Was this perhaps one way God was preparing me to know the truth of Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
About that same time I read the first Christian novel by an Australian author, Marjorie Buckingham, called “In All These Things”. It was based on the verse from Roman 8: 37: “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
As I look back now over many, many year of the ups and downs of my life, with a full heart I can say I have proven time and time again the truth of these verses.
So, hopefully now the reason why I write Christian fiction is obvious.
As these books and many others have done for me, my hearts desire is that readers may not only be entertained by my books, but that God will use them to show the truths of His Word in their own lives.
Here January 26th is called “Australia Day”. This is a special historical time of looking back down through our years to the European settlement of the Great South Land. However, also today we have many ceremonies across my beloved country to recognise and welcome new naturalised citizens to Australia. With them, we look to the future. My prayer is it will be one that includes devotion to God and His ways.
And so as I look back, I also look forward to reading—and writing—more Christian fiction.
I would love to hear from other readers and writers about any books that have had a significant affect on them over the years.