Monday, May 23, 2016

Keep The Tension

Last week while shopping at my local bookstore, a new release caught my eye. The book is in a genre I rarely read, and the story sounded as dull as kindergarten scissors. Still, I picked it up. Before I knew it I’d read 6 pages… then 14.

How had the author lured me into a story I was sure wouldn’t interest me?


Subtle opposition haunted each sentence. Dialog revealed the characters’ yearnings for the unattainable. Careful nuance in the setting assured me the plot was strung between the pillars of exquisite despair and triumphant grace.

So if I crave tension in story, why do I try everything I can to resolve it in my Christian walk?

This tension I’m referring to is not strife between individuals, but the felt angst when wrestling with Biblical concepts and this life’s demands.

For example, I know this world is not my home and yet I cling to this life. I fall prey to the lie that something earthly can satisfy the eternal longing God has placed in my heart. My soul is focused on the One I will spend eternity with and yet my fingertips chase click bait across the Internet in search for ways to make my life feel better and last longer.

Or what about the fact that the Bible teaches Jesus is fully God and fully man? A non-Christian acquaintance once verbally harpooned me because I couldn’t convince him it was true. I felt I should’ve been able to, as though a witty explanation could resolve this centuries-old theological tension.

And how about this one: in John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” yet I live in an intolerance intolerant society that calls me a hater if I repeat my Savior’s words. How can I make the tension go away when my unsaved friends say my salvation in Christ is simply my truth and they have their own truth? I can’t.

And I shouldn’t try.

I’m not called to ease the tension. I’m called to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). I’m called to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him (Col. 1:10) and to honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in me (1 Peter 3:15). But the tension that comes with living in a fallen world while waiting for a perfect eternity… that tension is best left unresolved.

Why Some Tension is Best Left Unresolved by Keely Brooke Keith first appeared on Grace and Faith 4 U, June 2015.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Seriously, what is on the other side of the mountians?

Connor has a greater purpose in the Land than he knows. How does the gray leaf heal? What keeps the Land hidden? Did the gray leaf tree seeds make it to America? What is over the mountains?

I'm so excited to dive back into the Uncharted series with Connor, the Colburns, and a few new characters to see where the story takes us next. I loved writing the history of the Land in Aboard Providence (October 2016, CrossRiver Media) and Above Rubies (publishing details forthcoming). Now I'm ready to spend my summer plotting the next phase in the Uncharted series.

What are your plans for the summer?

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

And finally.... the updated cover of Uncharted Inheritance!

Our little Bethany, all grown up and ready for the world
...or is she?

Here is a little about the book:

Uncharted Inheritance (Uncharted, #3)  

Bethany Colburn is finally allowed to court and Everett Foster is ready to confess his love for her. As the outside world closes in on the Land, a new man arrives in the village of Good Springs. He brings charm Bethany has never encountered and illness the Land has never known. While the medicinal power of the gray leaf tree is put to the test and the Colburn family’s strength is stretched thin, Bethany must choose between the love of her life and the intriguing new man. But nothing will matter if the Land is invaded.

Book Three in the Uncharted series, Uncharted Inheritance weaves heartbreak and hope while delivering long-awaited answers in this suspenseful story of life in a hidden land.

Uncharted Inheritance is available now in paperback, ebook, and audiobook

Audiobook: Audible, Amazon, iTunes

Read the first chapter here free.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen, I present the updated cover of Uncharted Redemption...

Isn't it gorgeous!?!
Designer Najla Qamber is brilliant!

In case you're new to the blog, here is a little about Uncharted Redemption (Book 2 in the Uncharted series)...

Mandy Foster regrets her past. If anyone discovers her secret, tradition dictates she will be shunned. She’s determined to guard her heart, even if it means a lifetime alone.

Breaking from the Land’s tradition, carpenter Levi Colburn is building his house outside the village—across the road from Mandy Foster to be exact. Though he hopes to marry Mandy someday, she rejected him once and has been unattainable to every man in the village ever since. When rebels tear through Good Springs and abduct Mandy, it’s up to Levi to find her. But will she accept the tender care of the one man who truly loves her?
 Available now
Audiobook: Audible, Amazon, iTunes

Sunday, May 1, 2016

From My Collection: The New England Primer

My copy of The New England Primer
In the late 17th Century, Boston publisher Benjamin Harris reprinted portions of his English Protestant Tutor, added new material designed for the American colonies, and called it The New England Primer.

The Primer was the first reader specifically made for the American colonies. It was widely used in schools, promoting literacy and instilling Puritan culture into early American thought by rote memorization of protestant doctrine. [1] Over 450 editions and adaptations were created, including the Indian Primer, which was printed in 1781 in English and Mohawk. The First Great Awakening (1730s-1740s) influenced changes in the Primer to focus on God’s love rather than God’s wrath.
Some of the Primer's famous woodcuts

The New England Primer was the most published and used schoolbook in America in the 18th Century. An estimate 6-8 million copies had been sold by 1830, yet only about 1,500 still exist. This attests to the Primer’s use, especially by children.

It began to fall out of use after Noah Webster’s Blue Back Speller (1790). Webster said of the Primer: “It taught millions to read, and not one to sin. Let us thank God for having given us such ancestors, and let each successive generation thank Him not less fervently for being one step further from them in the march of ages.”

Oh, the myriad steps we've taken away from those values in the 200 years since Webster's comment!

For more on the history of The New England Primer, check out this interesting article from The New York Times, November 14, 1897.

See a facsimile of the earliest known edition contained in Paul Leicester Ford’s analysis of The New England Primer here.

It's important to learn your confonants and italicks ;)

The famous "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer comes from The New England Primer.

Photos of my copy of The New England Primer. Albany: Joel Munsell's Sons, 1887. Facsimile of 1777 edition. (80) pages. 5.25 x 3.5", leather spine, blue paper boards.

[1] The New-England Primer. (2016). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from