Chris Fabry ~ Special Feature (with giveaway)

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If you belong to a book club, Chris Fabry’s books are a must! Always beautifully written, deeply thematic, and thought-provoking, Chris’ books are perfect for discussing with others or pondering on your own. I’m thrilled to feature Chris and his latest novel, Under a Cloudless Sky, by way of a special feature from Chris in the form of a letter…think along the lines of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.

*****

A letter from your Friendly Enemy about the “advantages” of keeping your secrets hidden.

Dear Christian,

I have been trying for quite some time to convince people like you that following Jesus is a never-ending treadmill of disappointment and despair. You think he is promising health, wealth, hope, and the “good life.” Ha! How is that working out for you? You have pain and struggle and shattered dreams and still you are determined to believe. I’ll never understand that, except that I know you have fallen for his deceit. He wants you to think he actually loves you and wants “the best” for you. But of course, he is in this for himself. I can’t convince you of that.

At least listen to me on the issue of your past. You have heard that the truth will set you free. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the truth about your past can bring even more pain and struggle to your life and make things messier. And isn’t life about avoiding pain? Avoiding the mess? You want things tidy and manageable, right? That’s what the “good life” is all about. So take heed to what I am about to say.

As one who knows your species well, it is best to hide your secrets. Cover them. Pretend they don’t affect you. Let yesterday be yesterday and today be today and never let the two collide. This will make your heart light and free, to the degree you are able to hold those secrets under the water without them bobbing to the surface.

Everyone has past events that hound and pester. You’ll hear a song that takes you back, a smell, a scent, an image, or a memory of something said and you are transported in time. Some memories are pleasant—those you can allow. But the unpleasant ones, the things others tell you that you must “deal with” because they are leaking through in your relationships, those you must disregard and cover, no matter how much those events may seem to be controlling you.

You see, Christians have this mistaken notion that really looking at the past and uncovering it will, in the end, help you move forward and toward God. That’s true, of course, but you must NOT do this. Grab a shovel and bury the past.

Learned teachers will say that if you actually look at your secrets in the full view of Jesus, if you are committed more to him than you are protecting your heart from pain, if you ask him to help you uncover and reveal all the ways you have had your heart wrapped up with the past, you will be plunged into a deeper relationship with him and you will experience freedom and forgiveness. How awful!

Don’t allow yourself to be forgiven because that will empower you to forgive others, and you can see how the cycle of enslavement to love begins.

I can’t tell you how this turns my stomach.

No. Under no circumstances must you unearth your secrets. Bury, hide, or lock them away in a trunk and sit on the top.

*****

Chris Fabry’s new novel, Under a Cloudless Sky, concerns a secret Ruby has kept since childhood. When the secret is revealed, it will forever change Ruby and the people she loves.

Under a Cloudless Sky

A charming and engrossing novel for fans of Southern fiction and the recent hit memoir Hillbilly Elegy about a lush and storied coal-mining town—and the good people who live there—in danger of being destroyed for the sake of profit. Will the truth about the town’s past be its final undoing or its saving grace?

1933. In the mining town of Beulah Mountain, West Virginia, two young girls form an unbreakable bond against the lush Appalachian landscape, coal dust and old hymns filling their lungs and hearts. Despite the polarizing forces of their fathers—one a mine owner, one a disgruntled miner —Ruby and Bean thrive under the tender care of Bean’s mama, blissfully unaware of the rising conflict in town and the coming tragedy that will tear them apart forever.

2004. Hollis Beasley is taking his last stand. Neighbors up and down the hollow have sold their land to Coleman Coal and Energy, but Hollis is determined to hold on to his family legacy on Beulah Mountain. Standing in his way is Buddy Coleman, an upstart mining executive who hopes to revitalize the dying town by increasing coal production and opening the Company Store Museum. He’ll pay homage to the past—even the massacre of 1933—while positioning the company for growth at all costs.

What surprises them all is how their stories will intersect with a feisty octogenarian living hundreds of miles away. When Ruby Handley Freeman’s grown children threaten her independence, she takes a stand of her own and disappears, propelling her on a journey to face a decades-old secret that will change everything for her and those she meets.

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.

Chris’s novels, which include Dogwood, June Bug, Almost Heaven, and The Promise of Jesse Woods, have won five Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award, and a 2017 Award of Merit from Christianity Today. His eightieth published book, Under a Cloudless Sky, is a novel set in the coalfields of his home state of West Virginia. His books include movie novelizations, like the recent bestseller War Room; nonfiction; and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and the Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. Visit his website at www.chrisfabry.com.

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Buy at Amazon: Under a Cloudless Sky or Koorong

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26 Responses to Chris Fabry ~ Special Feature (with giveaway)

  1. Wow. What a thought-provoking letter! Our past and our need to forgive and receive forgiveness always seem to go hand in hand….

  2. Sounds like a great read

  3. Of course we need to seek love and forgiveness in Jesus. Sounds like a great book.

  4. Wow. That is a very direct letter to keep the past and secrets hidden. My reaction is that the enemy is really good and feeding us lies.

    So look forward to Chris Fabry’s latest novel!!

  5. I saw this book today at Lifeway and would love to win a copy. It sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway. Blessings on you. 😊

  6. We might as well reveal our secrets to God (He knows them anyway!) so we can let Him help us. We so need that closeness to God and His strength.
    This sounds like a really good book that I’d like to read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. I haven’t read any of Chris Fabry’s books yet, but I’ve heard great things about them. This book sounds very intriguing.

  8. The letter is so true to life. It is definitely how Satan works.

  9. Life would be difficult if you don’t forgive.

  10. The letters remind me of The Screwtape Letters. This sounds like an awesome read.

  11. Reading the letter to Christian caused a bit of angst. I don’t read sarcasm well. I love Chris Fabry’s books! I count myself fortunate to have a couple of the previous books.

  12. danielle hammelef

    I had a difficult time with this letter because of my current journey to learn more about Jesus and trust in him completely. As a mere human I can’t understand what God does or why, but I’m working on my faith everyday to know that is enough and God is in control, not me.

  13. Looking forward to adding this to my collection of Chris Fabry books!

  14. Not to give into the lies the enemy tells you because then you will lose your hope in Christ & that would be a bad place to be!

    Thank you for the giveaway for Under a Cloudless Sky, by a new-to-me author :-)

  15. That you have to learn to forgive, you may never forget, but you have to find your inner peace.

  16. Hand me the shovel. I have a lot of digging to do.

  17. The Lord is GREATER than any secret or pain that I carry. I invite Him in to shine His light in every dark corner of my heart.

    This one sounds like a must read! Rel, thank you for the chance.

  18. Sounds very intriguing!

  19. The letter implies one should not make peace with events in our past but instead hide/bury them.

  20. How important it is to forgive

  21. God knows our secrets no need to hide them.

  22. For me, the biggest take away is that we don’t have to feel ashamed to come to God or pray to Him after we’ve failed. He is always ready to receive us with unconditional love and acceptance.

  23. That would be such a horrible way to live. Whether you believe or not doesn’t mean you shouldn’t forgive others or yourself for things done wrong in the past.

  24. I feel sorry for anyone who actually feels that way– what an empty and bitter life. I much prefer the freedom I have found in Christ as opposed to that bondage! I entered (fingers crossed!)

  25. Forgiveness is key to moving forward always!

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