Sunday, May 15, 2016

“Hearing From The Father: Finding True Hope And Joy In A Broken World”

What should we know about an author? Native Chicoan Mike Mercer put it this way in an email: “Mike graduated from Rosedale, Chico Junior, Chico High, and finally went down in educational flames at eighteen - a victim of his own fly fishing passion - fleeing his Butte College schooling for a dream job at The Fly Shop in Redding,” his home. Then he adds: “Raised in a family that pursued God, Mike spent his first 40 years with no use of a Savior...until he did...”

“God reached down,” he writes, “and saved me from myself.” Later, he found himself in intimate conversation with God, who prompted him, directed him, admonished him in writing stories about living the authentic Christian life.

It's like knowing the person next to you is in agony and needs prayer, Mercer says. “Have you felt that immediate and incredibly urgent prodding to pray with them … not over lunch, not later that day, but right now? That is perhaps the best way I can describe how He shares these with me, as (often) urgent prayers; as reflections of His heart that He very much wants me to grasp….”

The pieces are collected in “Hearing From The Father: Finding True Hope And Joy In A Broken World” ($15.99 in paperback from Xulon Press; also for Amazon Kindle).

The chapters are thoughtfully and beautifully written; some blend fictional and real life experiences; others are reflections on the difficulty of living in a world in which devilish evil is very real.

In “Accept His Love For You,” an abused woman named Hope says, “We go through a scary time in our life and we are afraid; we worry, what if He doesn’t show up? Listen to me—if you are really living your life for Him, He doesn’t have to ‘show up’ … He never left!”

The final story is about a 40-year-old man who loses his job but gains a different kind of employment, a new purpose. Years later, “his life is defined by gratitude, and joy, and never once does he regret this choice, made all those long years ago.”

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