New Seasons & Next Steps

Even though September 1 does not mark the beginning of the astronomical fall season, it does mark the beginning of the meteorological fall season. I’ve always sided with the weather man’s definition of my favorite season.

It’s fall, y’all!

I get strangely giddy every year at this time. (Smile.)

Wondering if giddy was the right adjective to describe how this season makes me feel, I looked up the definition at Dictionary.com. And guess what I found out?

The word comes from the phrase “possessed by a divine being.” It’s true! I am possessed by a divine being—the Spirit of Christ.

I love it that God is continually reminding me that I belong to Him and He belongs to me. I am His and He is mine (Song 6:3).

Okay, now I’m getting even giddier.

Allow me to tell you why fall is my “savorite” season:

  • Gorgeous colors of the leaves on most trees
  • Pumpkin spice flavored goodies begin to appear and quickly disappear from grocery store shelves (You better grab your can of Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Mix while you can!)
  • Pumpkin pie, pecan pie, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin cake, carrot cake (Did I tell you I have a sweet tooth?)
  • Breathing in the scent of my “Leaves” Bath & Body candle
  • Breathing in the fragrance of my “Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin” Bath & Body hand soap
  • Decorating my house with fall colors
  • Morning coffee is more enjoyable in cooler temps
  • Going for walks any time of day in the brisk cooler temps
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup season (Whole30, move over!)
  • Soup season
  • Makes me want to revert to my childhood and watch Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day
  • Makes me want to watch Dan In Real Life and every autumn-themed Hallmark movie ever made
  • Thanksgiving
  • September is my birthday month. I’ll turn 53 on the 29th. I’m so thankful to be forever alive in Christ on planet earth at this time in history!

I would love it if you would comment below by sharing your favorite things about fall.

Not only does September 1 mark the beginning of the meteorological season of fall, it also marks the beginning of a new phase in the publishing of my book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love!

Just this morning, I signed the final approval  for it to go to print. Whew!

It’s been quite a journey.

I started writing this book back in 2008, did a pilot study in 2010, purchased a self-publishing package from WestBow Press, the Christian self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson/Zondervan in 2012, submitted my first manuscript in 2014, resubmitted it in 2016, and now, after several revisions, it’s about to be released.

If all goes as planned (we’ll see), it will be in traditional and online bookstores by September 24.

This book is an intimate, interactive devotional study on the first two chapters of the Song of Songs. It highlights God’s pursuing love for His bride, the church (Christian men, you’re the bride too), and the great lengths He goes to in order to reveal His personal passion for her—to her (it’s a spiritual role, not a physical gender).

I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for the 83 people on my Pursuing Love Launch Team. These team members will be sharing the news about my first book with people they know through e-mail and social media, which is a huge blessing to me.

If you regularly search the Internet, you already know there are tons of people self-publishing new books everyday. That said, it’s not an easy thing to get your work noticed in this noisy cyber-world.

To be completely honest with you, promoting my book is my least favorite part (my favorite part was the actual sensing of God writing its words through me) of this process.

When you publish a book, you put your work out there for the world to either ignore, criticize, or praise. And let’s be honest, no one likes being ignored or criticized (I’m not talking about constructive criticism).

I also don’t want anyone to think that I’m saying, “Hey, look at me! I’m somebody special because I wrote a book.”

The thing is, I was somebody special before I ever wrote a single word of His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love.

If you think I’m being arrogant, think again.

I am somebody special because Father God knit me together in my mother’s womb, re-created me in Christ when I believed in (into) Him, and loves me with the same intensity in which He loves His Son, Jesus Christ (Ps. 139:13; John 17:23, Eph. 2:10; 2 Cor. 5:17, 21).

My identity is found in Christ alone, not in the Amazon Best Sellers list.

Whether His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love flops or flourishes, my one desire is that God would draw every one who is ready to receive His extravagant love in tangible ways to relish this study.

If you are excited for what God might do through my book, would you pray for me and my launch?

Also, if you would like to be “in” on my publishing loop, you can:

  • Like my Facebook author Page, Kim K Francis, click on the “Following” button to adjust your notifications to “See First.”
  • Follow me on Twitter.
  • Subscribe to this blog by going to my Contact page and scrolling to the bottom of the page. Then fill in your name and e-mail address and you will get a FREE PDF copy of “Who I Am in Christ IS Who I Am!” 

Just so you know, I have already started writing the sequel, His Banner Over Me Is Sustaining Love. The overriding theme of this study of Song of Songs, chapters 3–5, is how God sustains us in the midst of heartbreaking, gut-wrenching circumstances.

God has been preparing me to write this second installment in the series through sustaining me during one of the most difficult nine-year seasons in my life. (I’m still on the tail-end of it.)

Nine years is a long time.

Well, maybe not to God—who sees the whole picture and holds our times in His hands (Ps. 31:14-16). I’m choosing to trust and rest in His superintending guidance of the time I have left on planet earth.

Speaking of rest (and in closing), I would like to wish everyone in the U.S. a safe, restful, and happy Labor Day weekend!

Fall-lovers: Don’t forget to share all of your favorite things about fall by commenting on this post!

photo credit: Dave Hilditch Photography Autumn Textures via photopin(license)

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Until next time,

Live Christ—Live Happy!

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Are You the Ideal Candidate for My Launch Team?

If you love Jesus, you might be!

No man (or woman) is an island. My efforts alone will not get my book into the hands of every believer in Christ who longs to enjoy a richer love relationship with Him.

Are you one of those believers? If so, you might be the ideal candidate for my debut book launch team.

I’ve got an extensive marketing and promotion plan to launch His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, my six-week intimate and interactive study of the first two chapters of the Song of Solomon, dynamically designed to help Christians enjoy profound intimacy with Christ through a crystal clear understanding of their pure, righteous, and holy identity in Him.

This plan has included inviting Jesus-loving people I know to help me launch my book. I am so thankful and super excited that, as of today, almost 70 have said yes!

My goal is to have at least 100 people on my team who are committed to helping out during launch week (approximately four weeks from now) and at regular intervals throughout the year following its release.

So, I decided to open up a brief window of opportunity (until midnight, Wednesday, August 9, 2017) for those who follow my blog, Facebook author page, and for Facebook friends and Twitter followers  to apply for my launch team.

What Is the Role of a Launch Team Member?

  • Praying that God will cause my book to get the attention of Christian men and women who long to enjoy a richer love relationship with Him.
  • Reading a digital copy of my book before its release and posting a review at Amazon and Barnes & Noble the day of its release. You could also copy and paste the same review on other e-tailer sites where my book will be available, including the WestBow Press Bookstore and Christian Book Distributors.
  • Promoting my book through word of mouth, social media, e-mail, and your blog (if you have one). With the help of my social media publicist, I will be creating shareable Facebook posts, tweets, and e-mails, so all you would need to do is share on your existing accounts. (I won’t ask you to create a Twitter account.)
  • Joining my private Facebook group, “Pursuing Love Launch Team.” This will be an online hub where I will interact with my team (and they with each other) by posting prayer requests and shareable promotional posts. I will also do Facebook Live updates on my book’s progress. This group will be in existence for one year.

Are You Interested in Joining My Team? If so, fill out this FORM to apply. (Please let me know if you have trouble submitting the form here.)

Please give me until midnight, Wednesday, August 9, 2017 to collect applications and pick the team.

If you get picked, you will receive an e-mail with a digital copy of my book so you can begin reading it right away and more information about the private Facebook group I will be adding you to.

I’m looking forward to receiving your application!

photo credit: Flying Jenny Liftoff via photopin (license)

Until next time!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

 

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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This Man of Mine

Twenty Years Together and Holding Strong

He’s my best friend on this earth, my truth-teller when I’m whiny, and my hard-working-so-I-can-stay-home-and-write cowboy. Today’s post is a tribute to my husband of twenty years (July 19, 1997), Steven Dean Francis.

Two decades of marriage may not seem like much to most people, but it is nothing short of miraculous for me. My marital track record up until this cowboy and I started sparkin’ (his word for our romance) wasn’t good.

It wasn’t good because of the mess of lies that lived in my head for most of my life:

  • “You’ll be happy when you marry the perfect man (I sometimes tend to be idealistic).”
  • “You’ll be happy when you have children.”
  • “You’ll be happy when you have a teaching career.”
  • “You’ll be happy when you get a nose job and lose that extra weight.”
  • “You’ll be happy when you make enough money to buy … what will make you happy.”

Can you relate?

I’m still amazed that Steven chose me. Our union is a perfect example of God’s love, sovereignty, grace, and faithfulness.

Ours isn’t a love-at-first-sight story.

In the fall of 1964, we were both delivered by the same pipe-smokin’, suspender-wearin’, kid-scarin’ doctor in Spearman, Texas. Steven grew up there, but my family moved around the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles a lot—due to my dad’s work in the oilfield.

Steven was in the same grade as my cousin and knew my extended family well. But I didn’t meet him until 1992. That was when I started waiting tables at my mom’s restaurant—the Palo Duro Cafe in Spearman, Texas. He was farming at that time.

We knew each other as acquaintances for four years.

I remember well the morning I got down on my knees and asked God to put the man of His choice in my life. That was the first time I ever did that, so I knew He was at work.

Two weeks later, He placed His heavenly spotlight on Steven. God had answered my prayer in a most unexpected way and at almost lightning speed.

We started dating on my thirty-second birthday and were married before both of our thirty-third birthdays. I’m almost two months older than him. You would think I was a lot older by the way he tells everyone he married an “older” woman. (Smile.)

One day at lunch (about eight months into our love story) over sandwiches and tropical punch flavored Kool Aid, he popped the question.

Well, sort of.

It sounded something like this: We’re together all the time anyway, so don’t you think we might as well get married? (Pretty romantic, huh?)

I could hardly believe it. He actually wanted to say “I do” to someone whom most eligible, never-been-married bachelors might have considered “damaged goods.” I had a twelve-year-old son. And (this is a big AND) I couldn’t have any more children.

I almost backed out … for his sake. In my mind, he deserved better. (Tears.)

But God was unrelenting. He would not allow it. And I’m so thankful!

Steven and I both knew God put us together. So, all we’ve wanted to do from that point forward is to live our lives as a thank offering to Him.

We moved to Perryton, Texas, on our first anniversary and have lived here ever since—still seeking God’s direction for our lives and loving (almost) every minute of it.

Our love story in a nutshell? We fell in love with each other. Then, we fell in love with Jesus.

I’m sure if Father God had His druthers, He would have liked for our romance to have happened the other way around. But it didn’t.

That’s amazing grace.

I’m going to take next week off from blogging to celebrate God’s miraculous match-making abilities with this man of mine.

I will be posting this Friday, though. I’ll share the message in MercyMe’s song, “Hello Beautiful,” from their newest album, Lifer (what would’ve been today’s post in my Wednesday Summer Song Series).

If you haven’t read all of my posts since launching on March 1, there are over forty in the archives. Next week would be an opportune time to catch up!

Also, if you would like my posts delivered every Wednesday and Friday at noon to your e-mail inbox, please subscribe in the upper right-hand corner (or bottom left) of my blog.

When you sign up, I will send you a free PDF of “Who I Am In Christ IS Who I Am!”. It contains over two hundred illuminating passages on the believer’s identity in Christ.

In closing, do you have a love story to tell? If so, I would love to hear it!

Until next month!

 

 

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Have You Ever Been Kissed Awake?

Have you ever been kissed awake? This question might remind you of the sweet, memorable line by little Pattie-Cake Spencer in the 1963 film, Spencer’s Mountain (The Waltons was a spin-off from this movie). Her oldest brother, Clayboy, has come upstairs to wake her up, but she doesn’t want to get out of bed yet. So she says, “Kiss me awake, Clayboy!”

While I watched this endearing scene, I immediately thought about all the times I had been kissed awake. And I’m not talking about being kissed awake by an affectionate human being or pet.

I’m talking about being kissed awake by God.

It happened again just this morning. Right as I was waking up, the song that was playing in my head was “Silly Love Songs”—one of my favorites from the 70s by Paul McCartney & Wings.

The chorus, I…love…you…was playing over and over in my mind. Can you hear it?

I could’ve thought, Hmm, I wonder why that song is playing in my head. But I didn’t. I knew exactly where it was coming from.

It was Jesus wooing me—first thing in the morning. He was reminding me that I am the object of His supreme affection and that I am always on His heart and mind. Even while I’m sleeping.

Christian, do you realize that Jesus never dozes off and continually sings over you while you are sleeping?

If you need His Word and His Spirit to convince you, here’s the proof:

Isn’t it a wonderful thing to know that even when we are asleep, our Spiritual Bridegroom never sleeps and is continually serenading us?

I am so thankful that He lives in me twenty-four/seven and continually reminds that I am His and He is mine (Song of Songs 6:3).

I’m wondering, have you ever been kissed awake by God?

I would love to hear your story.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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It’s Almost Time!

An Update on My Publishing Journey

Writing and publishing a book is a lot like having a baby.  Much preparation, anticipation, and jubilation (and some worry) fill each moment—from the positive pregnancy test—to our ever-expanding waistline—until our unseen miracle finally decides to come out of hiding.

I had an extremely easy pregnancy with my son. I wish I could say the same about the actual birthing process. My due date, December 6, 1984, came and went without so much as a cramp. Wesley just wasn’t ready to make his appearance, even though he was plenty big. (Well, his  five-foot, two-inch mother was anyway.)

My doctor was in Pampa, Texas, thirty-two miles from Mobeetie. So, there was a little bit of apprehension, given that I had never give birth before. My mom told me that she was in labor with my oldest brother, Mark, for more than twenty-four hours. I was sure hoping mine didn’t last that long. But then again, I didn’t have any idea what to expect.

There was another glitch. The Texas Panhandle was expecting a major ice storm, so my doctor decided to induce my labor the morning of December 10 (and he was leaving on a snow-skiing vacation that evening!). After twenty-six hours of labor, my doctor’s partner in practice broke my water, I went into hard labor, and the delivery room nurses began making bets about the sex of my baby (we didn’t have routine sonograms back then).

On December 11, at 4:30 in the afternoon, Wesley Ryan Hathaway, a bright-eyed and healthy eight-pound, five-ounce baby boy, entered this world. I was overjoyed and thankful that he was finally here! And today, I couldn’t be more proud of the Jesus-loving man he has become.

I didn’t know then that Wesley would be my only child. I had a hysterectomy when I was thirty years old, so when Steven and I got married in July 1997, we both knew that there wouldn’t be any children in our future—unless we adopted. We prayed about it, but never felt like that was something God wanted for us.

Now, after almost twenty years of marriage, we know that God had something entirely different in mind for us. And, in a sense, Steven and I are having a baby—my first book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love. While Steven didn’t cowrite this book with me, he has read and reread it at different stages, offering valuable insights.

Steven has believed in this God-given dream since the moment it was conceived in my heart and spoken out of my mouth. And he has done nothing but support and encourage me throughout this entire almost nine-year process. Steven believed in me even when I didn’t. Even when I thought I was going to have a miscarriage (at several different stages), he pushed and cheered me on. Nine years is a long time to see the birth—the realization—of a dream. But now, I’m so happy to say, “It’s almost time!

I have learned a lot (probably just as much about what not to do as to do) through this huge undertaking. In 2012, at the advice of a published author whom I respect, I purchased a publishing package through WestBow Press, the Christian self-publishing division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan. That’s when the commitment became real. It wasn’t cheap.

And now, over five years later, the only part of the process that’s left is for me to do the final review of the proofs of the manuscript I submitted this past Monday. If everything goes according to plan, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love should be in print by next month, July 2017—exactly nine years from when the dream of writing this book was first implanted in my heart and I began punching away at the keys on my laptop.

In 2003, I remember hearing a Bible teacher talk about coauthoring a book, saying, “We decided to write a book together … and ten years later, it’s finally in print.” I remember thinking, Why did it take so long? Now, I know how it’s possible. There are some things you just don’t understand, until you experience them.

Part of the process of publishing a book is asking people you know and respect to read your book and offer an endorsement for it—if they like it. So, I would like to close today’s post by sharing a couple of the endorsements I’ve received:

This book called me to deeper, more passionate love for our Bridegroom. With intensive research, thoughtful insights and personal experience, Kim Francis makes the Song of Songs come alive. Using contemporary examples ranging from ‘do not disturb’ signs and overdrawn checking accounts, she makes application to this timeless, and often overlooked, portion of Scripture. The book also provides diagrams, study questions, and book and song resources.”—Latayne C. Scott, award-winning author

A beautifully crafted, in-depth study of the Song of Solomon. A gifted mentor and writer, Kim Francis weaves relatable examples with biblical truths to bring deeper insights into this ultimate love story. I highly recommend this study for those who long for and are ready to seek deeper intimacy with Christ.”—Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Chasing Lilacs and Stardust


Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. I’m wondering …

  1. Has God given you a dream?
  2. If yes, what is it and are you currently taking steps to see it come to pass?
  3. If no, ask Him if there is something that He would like to birth through the gift of your life on planet earth. 
 photo credit: rosenblume75 Babybauch 1 via photopin (license)

 

 Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Are You a “Lifer” in Christ?

2017 MercyMe Summer Song Series

I love wholesome Christian music that you can’t help but marry. Music you can dance to, walk to, work out to, clean house to, listen with your kids and grandkids to, worship God to, cry to, sing for joy to, and experience new covenant truth through. That’s why I decided to do a summer song series on MercyMe’s newest album, Lifer, released in March of this year.

I would have never chosen to devote ten Wednesday blog posts to share the message in every song on this album unless I was passionate about what this twenty-three-year-old Christian band is belting out in their newest albums. It started with The Hurt and the Healer (2012), progressed to Welcome to the New (2014), and now, ladies and gentlemen, Lifer. Their albums just keep getting gracier and gracier. Yeah, I made that word up. But I think it fits.

Last Wednesday, in my premiere post for this series, I shared the backstory of MercyMe’s transition into writing and performing songs that stress the grace message. The finished-work-of-Christ message. The believer’s brand-new-flawless-righteous-and-holy-identity-in-Christ message. The message that changed my life over ten years ago. It was just what the Great Physician ordered for this performance-based-acceptance junkie. My life will never be the same. This Jesus + Nothing = Everything message is the eternal lifeblood that courses through my veins. I’m a lifer in Christ.

The first song (track 1) is titled “Lifer“—the same name as the album. Here’s the brief story behind the song:

Did you catch what Bart Millard, the band’s leader, said? “Christ consumes our heart and shows up in our music.” I love that. When Christ overwhelms our hearts with Himself—His love, grace, mercy, and truth—it’s going to spill over into everything we do.

Now, let’s listen to the entire song.

Aside from the fact that this song makes you want to put on your boogie shoes, forget your worries, and just plain have fun, the message surging through the lyrics is, “No matter what happens to me in this life, whether good or bad, we’re lifers in this together, God.”

The first time I heard the word lifer, it was a dreary reference to someone who was serving a life sentence in prison. The song’s meaning is at the complete opposite end of that bleak spectrum. It is filled with freedom, hope, joy, and the anticipation of life eternal (which has already started – see Track 9) in Christ Jesus. To sum up what Millard said in the Heart Behind the Song video above, “No matter how hard we try, we can’t mess this thing (our walk with Christ) up. Because He’s in it for life, so are we—even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.”

You might ask, “How can he make such an incredible claim?” I think Millard would be the first to tell you that MercyMe is merely one of many messengers sharing the good news of the gospel of grace. Eternal security in Christ is based in God’s infallible Word—because of the finished work of His Son, Jesus Christ. The following are just a few of my favorite Scriptures which speak of the believer in Christ’s eternal security:

  • “I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).
  • “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
  • “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself” (2 Tim. 2:13 NIV).

These aren’t promises that are going to happen some day in the distant future. They are true right now—because of our eternal spiritual union with Christ’s Spirit. I believe Christ’s greatest longing for every believer in Him is to get the revelation that we are eternally and flawlessly fused to Him the moment we actually (literally) believed into Him (His Spirit). Signed (Rev. 22:4). Sealed (Eph. 1:13). Delivered (Col. 1:13). We’re His (Song 6:3). Forever.

MercyMe’s “Lifer,” the first track on their newest album by the same name, is filled with life-giving grace-based lyrics. The group intends to keep sharing what they consider to be the best news ever (see Track 4) as long as they have breath. Not only are they lifers in Christ, but they are twenty-plus years and counting in the Christian music business. Kudos to MercyMe for sharing the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ through their music!

Dear reader, I hope you enjoyed the second post in my summer song series, “Why I Think MercyMe’s Newest Album, Lifer, Is Their Best Ever.” I’m wondering,

What do you think about the song, “Lifer,” and how does it speak to you?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: One or more of the links in post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
 Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Not Especially Fond of “The Shack”?

The Shack Cons

Three weeks ago, I published the first post in a series of Wednesday posts titled “Not Especially Fond of ‘The Shack’? The Shack Facts.” In it, I shared facts about The Shack book and its author, William P. Young, for those who knew little or nothing about either. In last Wednesday’s post, I shared what I believed to be the pros of reading/watching The Shack. In today’s (lengthier than usual) post, I will be sharing parts from book and the movie (the movie held true to the message of the book) that raised major red flags of concern in my mind regarding Young’s beliefs about salvation.

I would like to remind you that I am not a scholar or a theologian, but I enjoy researching and then passing on what I’ve learned (spoiler alert). Because The Shack book is a publishing phenomenon and runaway New York Times bestseller that has affected gobs of people (including myself), I believe we should be informed concerning its messages, both biblical and non-biblical.

If you are riding the fence on whether or not to read/see The Shack, I pray that the information provided in my 3-week Wednesday post series will help you make an informed decision, at the very least. At the most, I pray it will encourage you to do your own research. I will warn you, though: it’s easy to get overwhelmed in the sea of information the Internet freely provides.

In 2007, when The Shack book was first released, many Bible-believing Christians were concerned about some of the statements Young makes through the dialogue between Papa, Jesus, Sarayu, and Mack Phillips. “It is a work of fiction,” was a frequent response made in an effort to downplay some of those objections. But–and this is a very important but–no one can deny that most authors write in order to communicate what they most deeply believe. I do. This summer, my first book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, will be published. When people ask me what it’s about, I tell them, “It’s basically my heart in a book.”

The following are some of the messages expressed in the novel that set off warning signals in my mind:

  • Page 100, where Papa is talking to Mack: “Humans … are created in my image.” Genesis 1:26-27 says that Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, but after the fall, Genesis 5:1-3 says that Adam “became the father of a son in his (Adam’s) own likeness.” The fall changed everything. The perfect union between God and man was breached when Adam and Eve disobeyed Father God–asserting their independence, rather than remaining perfectly dependent on Him. There are places strewn throughout the book where Papa refers to all of humanity as being her children. (Father God is portrayed as an African American woman through most of the book and movie.) This completely disagrees with Scripture. Only those who are born again (who have believed in Jesus) are referred to as “children of God” (John 1:12, 11:52; Acts 17:29;  Rom. 8:16, 21; 9:8; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:1-2, 10; 5:2) in the Bible.
  • Page 103, where Mack is talking to Papa after he noticed the nail scars on her wrists: “I’m so sorry that you, that Jesus, had to die.” God the Father did not die on the cross (God is Spirit, John 4:24). God the Son, who came in human flesh, is the only Person of the Trinity who suffered the horrific cruelty of the cross in His physical body (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:36).
  • Page 182, where Jesus is talking to Mack: “Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslim, Democrats, Republicans, and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. I have no desire to make them Christian …” Acts 11:26, Acts 26:28, and 1 Peter 4:16 all refer to those who have believed in Jesus as Christians. I would also like to point out that those in the Bible who are not believers in Christ are referred to as sinners, not saints, and are defined by their sin (murderers, self-righteous). Believers in Christ, however, are referred to as saints and are not defined by their behavior, but by who they eternally are in Him (Rev. 20:12, 15; 21:27).
  • Page 192, where Papa and Mack are talking: Papa: “Honey, you asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross; so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world.” Mack: “The whole world? You mean those who believe in you, right?” Papa: “The whole world, Mack. All I am telling you is that reconciliation is a two way street, and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally. It is not the nature of love to force a relationship but it is the nature of love to open the way.” I must admit that there were statements like this one that left me scratching my head, wondering what Young really believed about salvation. What he is saying about God having done His part in reconciling the world to Himself is true (Jesus Christ died on the cross), but a response of faith on the part of each person is required (which Young does not make clear) in order for them to be forgiven, saved, partakers in Christ’s eternal life (in Christ), children of Father God, righteous, and free from condemnation, judgment, and punishment (John 5:24; Acts 10:43, 26:17-18; Rom. 1:16-17; 3:26; 4:13-14, 22-24; 6:3-4, 17-22; 8:5-8, 9-10, 12-14; 10:4, 9-10, 17-23; 12:19; 16:7; 1 Cor. 3:17; 5:9-13; 6:9-11; 2 Cor. 2:15-17; 4:3-4; 5:18-20; 6:14-17; 11:13-15; 13:5; Gal. 1:8-9; 2:4-5; 3:22; 5:4-5, 19-21; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:1-3, 12; 4:17-20; 5:5; Phil. 2:14; Col. 1:21-23; 2:13-14; 3:5-10; 4:5-6; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; 2:15-16; 5:2-9; 2 Thess. 1:6-10; 2:12; 3:1-2; 1 Tim. 1:8-11; 2 Tim. 3:1-8; Tit. 1:15-16; Heb. 2:2-3; 10:26-29; 12:25; 2 Pet. 2:4-10, 17; 1 John 2:22-23; 3:10, 14-15; 4:5-6; 5:1; Rev. 20:12-15).

I’m happy to say that I am no longer scratching my head about what Young really believes. After spending quite some time researching the Internet, reading several different articles, listening to many YouTube videos of Young speaking, and watching the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) series, Restoring the Shack, there is no doubt in my mind that Young adheres to Christian Universalism. According to Wikipedia, Christian Universalism is a school of Christian theology which includes the belief in the doctrine of universal reconciliation, the view that all human beings will ultimately be restored to a right relationship with God in Heaven and the New Jerusalem.

To date, TBN has aired fourteen episodes of Restoring the Shack, and with each episode, Young reveals more about his adherence to Christian Universalism. I am not only surprised, but I am also disappointed that TBN is promoting Young’s theology. It makes me wonder if they really understand where Young is coming from.
 The following is an excerpt from an article titled, “The Shack and Universal Reconciliation,” on Young’s own website that should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind about what the author believes:

Paul Young told me he is a “hopeful universalist.” He believes that our loving God sent His Son to die for every single sinner without exception. One day God will effectually reconcile every sinner to Himself. Paul uses the term “hopeful” universalism because he understands that the Scriptures speak of judgment, but Paul is “hopeful” that even in judgment, the love of God will eventually bring the sinner being judged to love for Jesus Christ. Paul Young is “hopeful” that the fire of God’s love will eventually and effectually persuade every sinner of God’s love in Christ.

In his March 9, 2017, post, Christian author, blogger, and book reviewer, Tim Challies, recently reviewed Young’s newest work, “What Does The Shack Really Teach? Lies We Believe About God Tells Us.” In much of his post, Challies quotes directly from Young’s latest book. The following part of his post, I believe, is the most important revelation concerning the lie of universal reconciliation that Young promotes:

(Lie #13) Chapter 13: “You need to get saved.” Here he (Young) turns to the matter of salvation. I (Challies) will excerpt this at length so you can see his full-out embrace of universalism—that everybody has been or will be saved by God.

So what is the Good News? What is the Gospel?

The Good News is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father, and into His anointing in the Holy Spirit. The Good News is that Jesus did this without your vote, and whether you believe it or not won’t make it any less or more true.

What or who saves me? Either God did in Jesus, or I save myself. If, in any way, I participate in the completed act of salvation accomplished in Jesus, then my part is what actually saves me. Saving faith is not our faith, but the faith of Jesus.

God does not wait for my choice and then “save me.” God has acted decisively and universally for all humankind. Now our daily choice is to either grow and participate in that reality or continue to live in the blindness of our own independence.

Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation?

That is exactly what I am saying!

Here’s the truth: every person who has ever been conceived was included in the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. When Jesus was lifted up, God “dragged” all human beings to Himself (John 12:32). Jesus is the Savior of all humankind, especially believers (1 Timothy 4:10). Further, every single human being is in Christ (John 1:3), and Christ is in them, and Christ is in the Father (John 14:20). When Christ—the Creator in whom the cosmos was created—died, we all died. When Christ rose, we rose (2 Corinthians 5).

Young leaves no doubt that he espouses universalism. To further his argument, he includes an appendix on the matter.

 

Clearly, no one has to wonder at all about Young’s theology anymore. To be completely honest, I was so disappointed to find this out! As I mentioned in my post, The Shack Pros, much of this book/movie touched places in my heart as nothing else ever has.

In closing this series of Wednesday posts, I will give my overall opinion of The Shack. For biblically-grounded believers in Christ who have a desire to learn more about The Shack, I would encourage them to eat the meat of sound, biblical theology and throw away the bones of unbiblical ideology. Test every question you have against what the Bible actually says on the matter (Acts 17:11). The Shack’s personification of the Trinity’s compassionate and endearing love, grace, and mercy (among themselves and toward Mack) is sure to foster receptivity in the souls of believers in Christ to enjoy the gifts already lavished on them through their eternal spiritual union with Him.

For those who know little or nothing about sound, biblical theology (either unbelievers in Christ or believers in Christ with unrenewed minds), I would strongly caution you not to buy into Young’s theology of Universal Reconciliation, his “hopeful” belief that all humankind will eventually be reconciled to God through no choice of their own. It’s just not biblical (find out for yourself by reading the Scriptures listed in the fourth bullet point above). My heartfelt prayer is that no one would be sucked into the lie that a relationship with God is a done deal–whether we want it or not. A forced love relationship is an oxymoron.

For more information about The Shack movie, you can go to Focus on the Family’s Plugged In Movie Reviews.com.

For a more in-depth article concerning the theology of The Shack, please read Randy Alcorn’s “Reflections on The Shack.”

I would love to interact with you concerning the entire “Not Especially Fond of The Shack?” series of Wednesday posts.

  1. Had you read/watched The Shack book/movie prior to reading this series of Wednesday posts?
  2. If yes, has the information provided in these posts changed how you view the messages communicated in The Shack? If yes, please explain.
  3. If you answered no to question 1, will you read/watch The Shack book/movie now? Why or why not?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

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Not Especially Fond of “The Shack”?

The Shack Pros

Last Wednesday, I posted the first in a series of three Wednesday posts titled “Not Especially Fond of The Shack? The Shack Facts.” For those who know little or nothing about this runaway New York Times bestselling book, I shared some facts about its history, story line, and author, William P. Young.

In today’s post, I share what I believe to be the positive aspects (pros) of the messages communicated in both The Shack book and The Shack movie (spoiler alert).

To read or not to read The Shack book? To watch or not to watch The Shack movie? These are the questions that are going through the minds of many evangelical Christians right now. I took a Facebook poll on my personal page (not my author page) on Monday, May 15, 2017, asking the question,

I’m wondering how many of you have read and/or watched The Shack and, if you have, what your take away was from either or both?

I wasn’t surprised to get quite a bit of engagement, with a variety of responses. They ranged from, “Haven’t read the book or watched the movie,” to “I couldn’t get through the book, and I won’t watch the movie,” to “Loved the book and the movie!” There were as many unique responses as there were responders. Not surprising either. Every person on planet earth has a different way of looking at things, influenced by their own genetic disposition (nature), their life experiences (nurture), and their spiritual (or nonspiritual) views.

I appreciated (and am still gleaning from) all the honest input. There were those who recommended the book, Finding God in Shack (there are actually two books on Amazon.com by the same name, but two different authors), as well as the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) series, Restoring the Shack, to learn more.

It’s not unusual to hear a movie goer who has read a book from which a movie is based say, “The book was so much better than the movie!” I believe one of the reasons for this is because of the time limitations placed on its big-screen adaptation. In my opinion, The Shack movie remained, for the most part, true to The Shack book. There were a few minor discrepancies that I noticed, but nothing major worth pointing out.

A novel is as good as its ability to imprint impacting images in the minds of its readers. I first read The Shack in 2007 at the recommendation of a good friend. Anyone who knows me well at all, knows that I don’t just “read” a book; I become intimately acquainted with it. It just doesn’t feel natural to me to read a book without a pen in hand. I’m always ready to put asterisks, smiley faces, hmmm … , wow!, I agree! and so on in the margins beside the content I especially enjoy. On the other hand, I put sad faces, what?! I don’t agree! or Are you kidding me?! in the margins beside concepts I can’t (or won’t) accept.

In addition to reviewing the notes in the margins of my book, I enjoyed rereading my hand-written “review” (from 2007) on the first blank page at the end of it:

I believe the reason this book has had such an overwhelming impact on so many hearts is that it engages the imagination—the movie theater in our minds–with a more genuine picture of the authentic, affectionate love that Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit have for humanity than has ever been portrayed before. This book provides a wonderful picture of grace and will be a very special addition to my already growing library on the subject.

Ten years later, as I sat in the movie theater watching this anomaly come to life, I was mesmerized (and wishing I would have packed my purse with Kleenex!). And, of course, it made me want to reread the book the first chance I got. Which I did. But this time with different images.

There is a line in the foreword of the book that encapsulates the reason, I believe, so many are drawn to The Shack (it resounded with me!):

I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships, so will our healing. And I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.

This morning, I woke up to the captivating theme song of the movie, “Keep Your Eyes on Me,” a duet written and recorded by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, playing in my mind. Go ahead and take a listen for yourself if you would like:

The words to this song convey a very simple biblical message:

When the hurts of this life seem much more real than your faith and hope in God, keep your eyes on Him.

Right after Steven and I got married in July 1997, one of the Scriptures that God kept bringing to the forefront of my mind was Hebrews 12:1-2 (I even had a coffee mug with the passage on it), which says,

We are surrounded by a great cloud of people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect. He suffered death on the cross. But he accepted the shame as if it were nothing because of the joy that God put before him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. (NCV)

God used this passage in Hebrews along with several others to remind me of the importance of keeping my focus on Him (Isa. 26:3; Col. 3:1-4; Phil. 4:8). During that time in my life, I was experiencing great sadness. My only child told me he wanted to go live with his dad. He had lived with me for the first five years following the divorce. Although I was shocked and devastated when he shared the news, I understood his need to be with his dad. (A twelve-year-old should never have to choose between his parents.)

In addition to The Shack’s message on the importance of keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus when our personal world is being rocked to the core, I found the following to be positive takeaway:

  • God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are portrayed as a warm, compassionate, joy-filled Trio of Perfect Love who long for an up-close-and-personal relationship with every person on the face of this earth (John 3;  Rom. 1:161 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9).

If you have read/watched The Shack, you already know that I included its endearing catchphrase in the title of this series of Wednesday posts. The line is Papa’s (Father God’s) and He (well, she) says to the protagonist, Mack Phillips,

I’m especially fond of Missy, and you, too.

Then, at some time later, Mack says to Papa,

Is there anyone you aren’t especially fond of?

To which she replies,

Nope. Haven’t been able to find any.

This line of dialogue reminds me of John 3:16, which says,

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:16 is likely the most well-known Scripture in the New Testament. It embodies the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. I wrote an entire post over the importance of this single verse. The gospel clearly requires a response from each person, whether to believe in (into) Jesus and experience eternal life or not to believe–remain outside the life of Christ–and perish. It’s that simple.

In next Wednesday’s post, The Shack Cons, I will be sharing what I’ve learned about Young’s personal beliefs about salvation. And I will tell you, he and I are definitely not on the same page concerning the most important aspect of life—and death—and eternity.

Another positive takeaway I got from the message in The Shack was:

I loved the representation of Father God’s consoling empathy (tears) toward Mack in the suffering he endured throughout his life—from his childhood abuse to the gut-wrenching tragedy of losing his youngest daughter to a sadistic serial killer–and the great lengths He went to in order to bring healing and restoration to his life. Two quotes really stood out to me, words that I believe reflect Father God’s compassion for us in our deepest wounding:

Pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly (He longs for us to experience a fulfilling life on this earth).

Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn’t mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don’t ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors (He is not the Author of tragedies, but can bring incredible healing in the midst of them).

Although there were many aspects of The Shack that warmed my heart, I’m going to wrap up my discussion of the positive takeaways with this one:

  • God knows every sin, every failure, every dark thought and emotion we’ve ever experienced, and yet He still pursues a personal love relationship with us–even when we could care less about Him (Luke 15).

Mack was blinded by his intense anger and hatred toward Missy’s killer. And by his anger toward God for allowing these horrible events to touch his life. Yet God loved him so much, he longed for and pursued an intimate relationship with Mack. God understands our extreme lack of understanding (because He’s omniscient) and wants to help us learn to trust Him with every facet of our lives, regardless of whether or not we understand everything. In short, trust always requires unanswered questions.

When I think about all the years that I could have cared less about what God thought or wanted for my life—the years that I spent trying to milk my love, value, and acceptance from this world, I am in awe of the amazing grace, love, and patience that He exercised toward me. He pursued me and waited for me to want an intimate relationship with Him as much as He wanted an intimate relationship with me.

My two greatest personal takeaways from the book and the movie? I closed The Shack book longing for more intimate interaction with my Beloved, and I walked out of the movie theater filled with an abiding sense of joy. Both the book and movie reminded me that my Beloved is especially fond of me, Kimberly Kay Francis, who lives at the top of the Texas Panhandle in the United States of America. He knows my name and my address and chooses to live where I live–right in the center of my new heart in Him!

In today’s post, I shared what I believe to be the pros–the positive takeaways–from reading The Shack book and watching The Shack movie. While I savored the book (twice) and the movie (twice), there were places in both that raised very important red flags of concern in my mind about the author’s personal beliefs, especially about salvation. I’m looking forward to sharing my concerns and the answers I found through my research with you in next Wednesday’s post.

In the meantime, I would love to interact with you concerning today’s post content.

  1. Have you read The Shack book and/or seen The Shack movie?
  2. If yes, what was your take away from either or both?
  3. If no, would you like to see the movie and/or read the book? If not, why not?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

 

 

 

Not Especially Fond of “The Shack”?

The Shack Facts

If you have never heard of The Shack book or The Shack movie, you might be living in a cave–or a shack (tongue in cheek). The book stirred up quite a controversy in Christian circles back in 2007 when it was first released. And now, ten years later, it’s been adapted for the big screen. It premiered in March and, not surprisingly, is still causing quite a theological stir.

I first read the book in 2007, watched the movie in March 2017, and just finished reading the book for the second time. I am not a theologian and certainly wouldn’t deem myself a scholar in anything. But I do enjoy researching and learning–and then passing on what I’ve learned.

When I taught high school math, I tried to approach every lesson from the point of view of my students, to put myself in their seat, and to not assume anything (wouldn’t it be great if all of our assumers were broken?). So, my purpose in today’s post is to share the facts about The Shack book and its author for those who know nothing or very little about either (spoiler alert). In next Wednesday’s post, I will share what I believe are the pros of the message communicated in the book and the movie. And then, in the following Wednesday’s post, I will wrap up my discussion with what I believe are the cons.

The book’s 62-year-old author, William P. Young, was born in Canada and was the oldest of four children. His parents became missionaries through the CMA (Christian and Missionary Alliance) in the New Guinea Highlands when Young was only a year old. Young describes his relationship with his dad as very difficult. If you watch any of the YouTube videos where he shares his personal story, you will hear him compassionately refer to his dad as not having the ‘chip’ for being a father–because it was smashed by his own dad, long before Paul (the name he goes by) showed up. In other words, Young clearly understands that hurt people hurt people.

Before Young was five years old, he was sexually abused inside the tribal culture in which he lived. At the age of six, he was sent to a Christian boarding school, where he also experienced sexual abuse by some of the older boys at the school.

Young describes his broken relationship with his dad, the sexual abuse he experienced, and the lack of a sense of belonging (missionary kids move a lot), as the “three great sadnesses” he grew up with. This is important to keep in mind because Young uses the phrase, The Great Sadness, quite often throughout his book. The Great Sadness represents the overwhelming loss and grief experienced by a middle-class American father that no one should ever have to endure.

The story (the book is a work of fiction) takes place in the Pacific Northwest and centers around a family of seven: Mack and Nan Phillips and their five children. The two oldest are grown and gone and the three youngest, Kate, Josh, and Missy are still at home.

As a last hurrah of summer, Mack takes his three younger children camping over the Labor Day weekend. They had a wonderful time fishing, canoeing, singing around the campfire, and getting to know their neighboring campers. That is, until the last day. The day when everything changed. The day that The Great Sadness began for Mack and his family. In what seemed like a split second, six-year-old Missy was abducted from the campsite. The massive search for her ends in a dilapidated shack where there is evidence suggesting that she was brutally murdered (and probably sexually abused). Her body was not recovered, though.

The rest of the story revolves around Mack and his personal journey to healing through revisiting the shack–after receiving a mysterious invitation from Papa (the name that Nan uses to refer to Father God). Four years after the unspeakable tragedy occurs, Mack returns to the shack, where he encounters the Holy Trinity–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–all in fleshly form. Papa is portrayed by a middle-aged, African-American woman; Jesus by a young Jewish man; and the Holy Spirit as a beautiful young Asian woman.

Young describes the shack as a metaphor for “the house we build inside ourselves out of our own pain”–often with the help of other broken people. He wrote the story out of his wife’s urging him to get down on paper his “outside-of-the-box” kind of thinking about God. He never intended for it to be published. In 2005, he had fifteen copies of the manuscript printed at Office Depot. Then he gave each one of his six kids a copy for Christmas. The rest he distributed to a handful of close friends, some of which emphatically believed it should be published.

After the manuscript was turned down by twenty-six traditional publishers, Young and two of his friends self-published The Shack through their own company, Windblown Media, in 2007. Through primarily word-of-mouth marketing, the book sold 1 million copies by June 2008, landing it on USA TODAY’s Best Selling Books list. It was the No. 1 paperback trade fiction seller on the New York Times Best Sellers’ List from June 2008 to early 2010. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association presented The Shack with the “Diamond Award” for sales of over 10 million copies in 2009. To date, the book has sold more than 20 million copies.

No one can deny that The Shack book has touched a multitude of lives. And now that it has been made into a motion picture, its message will continue to have far-reaching effects. The Shack movie is now available for viewing on Digital HD from Amazon and iTunes. The Shack DVD and Blu-ray release date is set for May 30, 2017.

Dear reader, in today’s post, I shared some of the facts concerning the highly controversial book, The Shack, and its author, William P. Young. Next Wednesday, I will share what I believe to be the pros of reading the book and watching the movie. And the following Wednesday, I will share what I believe to be the cons. In the meantime, I would love to interact with you by asking you some questions:

  1. Have you read The Shack book and/or seen The Shack movie?
  2. If yes, what was your take away from either or both?
  3. If no, would you like to see the movie and/or read the book? If not, why not?

If you prefer to interact with me through personal email rather than commenting below, you can do so by clicking here.

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

EMAIL
MY BLOG: KimKFrancis.com
TWITTER: @KimKFrancis 64
FACEBOOK: Kim K Francis

Home     My Core Beliefs     About     Resources     Speaking     Contact

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Seizing and Savoring Every Moment

I love to take walks around our peaceful neighborhood as soon as the weather starts cooperating. Well, I guess it’s peaceful if you don’t time your walk right before school starts or lets out (we live close to the junior high school).

One of the things I love most about spring-time walks is that new life is literally “springing” up everywhere. I’m especially thankful this year for all the colors of this season, given that our town was hit hard by a mid-January ice storm. It’s almost four months later, and Perryton residents are still cleaning up downed branches and assessing the damage done to their trees, homes, and other structures.

The saying “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone” could have been the front-page headline of The Perryton Herald the week following the devastation. I have lived in the Texas Panhandle pretty much my whole life and have never seen anything like it.

The saying “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone” could have been the front-page headline of The Perryton Herald the week following the devastation.

Then, on March 6, high winds and dry conditions set the stage for an onslaught of Panhandle wildfires that consumed almost a half million acres, took precious lives, and destroyed ranch homes and animals. So sad. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it.

Up until this year, I have said on more than one occasion, “It seems like Perryton is tucked inside a protected bubble.” It doesn’t seem much that way anymore. We live in a world that is constantly changing. That’s why I believe it is so important for all of us to seize and savor every moment God has given us on this earth.

One evening a couple of weeks ago, I was out walking and listening to my new favorite album by MercyMe, Lifer, when a beautiful bed of tulips caught my eye. It was so stunning, I decided to stop and take a picture of it with my phone.

While the quality of the picture isn’t that great (where’s Angela Manross when you need a gorgeous photo taken?), I think you might agree with me that it was a “Kodak moment.” Flowers don’t wear their glory very long, so we need to savor them while we can. I walked by the same tulip bed this afternoon and all the petals are gone.

It’s the same with life. The longer I live, the more I realize that the average life span of about eighty years is like the petals of a flower quickly falling away. First Peter 1:23-25 says,

See that you do love each other, fervently and from the heart. For you are the sons of God now; the live, permanent Word of the living God has given you his own indestructible heredity. It is true that: ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures for ever.’ (PHILLIPS)

While believers in Christ will live together forever with Him in eternity, our time on earth is precious. It is our only opportunity to share the love and life of Christ with a lost and dying world.

While believers in Christ will live together forever with Him in eternity, our time on earth is precious. It is our only opportunity to share the love and life of Christ with a lost and dying world.

After going through a cancer scare last year, I don’t want to waste any time. I want to seize and savor every beautiful moment that God gives me until I breathe my last. I want to cooperate with Him so that the dreams I believe He has written on my heart will materialize in my lifetime.

The dream of publishing my first book, His Banner Over Me Is Pursuing Love, is about to come true, and I am incredibly humbled and thankful for that. I believe God’s dream for my life on this earth is to publish at least two more studies and maybe a daily devotional to accompany each of those three studies. And I’m open to anything else He may want to add to that!

In short, I want to seize every moment that He has gifted me with on this earth to share His life and love with anyone willing to listen.

Dear reader, I pray that today’s post pulled on the dream-strings of your heart, causing you to realize that time is short, whether for the baby in the cradle or for the man or woman in his or her senior years. I would love to hear what dreams God has placed on your heart and the direction He has given you for seeing those dreams materialize on this earth. 

Until next time,

 

 

 

P.S.  If you enjoyed this post and want to know more about me and the types of content I will be posting, please visit my About Page.

MY CONTACT INFORMATION:

Kim K. Francis
P.O. Box 357
Perryton, TX 79070
806.435.5575

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