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What an exciting day!  “Journey” is a reality!!  …. The biblical novel I have been working on the for last 8 years is in print, ready for distribution!   This morning, we discovered it on amazon.com, as well as several other online sites.  I am so thankful for Advantage books, specifically for Mike and Karyn Janiczek; I hope my small offering helps to enlarge their publishing endeavors …  Their company really does need to be a household name — like Tyndale, or Word…. I am also so very humbled and thankful for the many friends who donated funds to help make the book a reality — I have learned many lessons this year about the need for community…. What a blessing!

If you would like to see the book, it is available on amazon.com here.

Here is a little more information;

From the back cover –

Everyone loves a story; some we love because they make us laugh; some because they make us cry, touching our pain.
Everyone has a story. Many are untold. Some we remember for opening doors, presenting keys for adventure and discovery.

Some stories are true; some are not. Based on actual events, this story weaves a riveting account; drawing readers in, captivating our attention, making us part of the plot action.
Journey is the historical biography of the life of a young, courageous woman named Mary. Based on more than eight years of painstaking research, the author has drawn from more than fifty sources and a trip to Israel in order to bring actual Biblical events to life. Drawing from the lessons and stories of those she has helped in her counseling practice, the author paints a compelling portrayal of what it meant to live in ancient times.

Here are reviews from some of those who have read the book already… and let me just say in advance, ” thanks for listening….”

“Journey is a good read, with wonderful characterization, and a riveting plot. It makes the times and people come to life. The interesting thing is that the reader finds oneself identifying with the struggles and questions of the people – as though they are us.”(Sharon N.)

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“When I was reading Debbye’s book, I felt like I had been picked up and placed into the lives of the people who lived in Bible times. As I read, I realized that a lot of women, who have not been nurtured from an early age, feel the things that Mary Magdalene felt. I identified with her feelings. During one scene in particular, I felt the Presence of God draw close to me, bringing personal healing. It was a personal visitation because of the picture painted of Jesus’ ministry. I remember weeping for a long time, and emerging with a sense of healing. At another point during the book, I experienced being strengthened and empowered by the Lord; to accept the freedom to become the woman I was created to become; not afraid of the culture or of other people’s reactions and words.” (Dianne T.)

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“I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a good read, with a good story line. I loved the richness of the culture, customs and history. It was all so interesting and informative!” (Jean R.)

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“This story offers a number of benefits as it weaves history, healing and spiritual truths into its pages. I have gained valuable insight into the way that living a life in Jesus brings healing to the soul. I have been blessed and changed from reading it.” (Jill B.)

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“I love reading stories about real people. Journey made Jesus real to me. Reading this book has helped me to understand God better.”(Carol J.)

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“To whom it may concern:

“I have had the privilege to read Journey by Debbye Graafsma. I found it to be a compelling read. The following is an attempt to explain why I found this book to be so enjoyable. The first requirement I have when I read fiction, is that I must care about the characters. Debbye achieved this by presenting characters who were believable, who had depth, and to whom the average person can relate.

“She allowed you into their lives, warts and all. By doing so, the reader can identify with the characters and care about what happens to them. Another unique aspect of the book was the fact that the culture and architecture was so accurately and vividly portrayed. The reader could envision walking the streets as they existed in Biblical times.

“The discussion of business transactions was also very interesting. The caravans transporting goods, the purchase of linens and cloth, operation of vineyards, the presence of spas – all provided further insight into how people lived and earned money.

“To me, the most unique aspect of this book was how the common people reacted to Jesus. What they thought of Him; How they reacted to Him. This is evidenced by the description of how Jesus delivered Mary of the demons. This sequence was so vivid and moving that it brought tears to my eyes. Also, Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ feet with oil and wiping them with her hair was very moving.

“The portrayal of Simon the Pharisee gave me, for the first time, a clear picture of the mindset of the religious leaders at the time of Jesus’ ministry. I have a better understanding of why the religious leaders wanted to crucify Jesus.

“I am confident that Journey will minister to its readers. I believe both male and female readers would enjoy this book. It will minister to whoever reads it.” (Thomas R.)

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Today turned into an encounter with a sinus nasty — Apparently, some kind and sharing soul left the remnants of their symptoms where I could find them.  I must have unwittingly discovered the germs; and, not being good at playing “hot potato,”  held onto the little viruses too long.  So they made contact.  The ugly things intend to “live long and prosper!”  Little aliens…..   (Can’t we just send them back to the mother-ship?)

What was it the doctor used to tell us when the girls were small?  “Wash your hands continually, and don’t touch your eyes, nose, mouth or ears.”  Sorry, Larry, I forgot, I guess. 

There is one good thing about not feeling well. Everything else has to stand in line for attention while you recover.  And, it gives you a little bit of time to rest; doing activities that  can be accomplished in a semi-sleep state…. when you’re not sleeping, that is…

So today, between naps, I was preparing a CD — lazing on the couch, with my laptop, my pillow, my blankie and my sympathetic 8-pound Maltese.  Oh, and lots of water; don’t forget the water. And the tea.  Thanks, Mom.

I’ve written a novel.  Did I tell you that already?  My brain is snowed in with Mr. Sinus…. I can’t remember.

It’s been a rather large project. One I didn’t realize I was undertaking…. At first, I was going to write a series of short stories, and give them to women who come to the Awakened to Grow retreats….  Then, I thought it might become a devotional; to which we would add the scripture reading and journaling assignments at a later date.  But now, as I sign a publishing contract, and send a CD of files off, I am realizing that Abba Father has been leading me into a discovery for a long time. 

I love to write…. really.   I love to research, and find connections.  It’s fun to watch a patchwork quilt come together; piecing the accounts into a narrative.  To discover the people…Before this project, I wrote songs — and I still love doing that — but this has touched something deeper in me…. this has been fun!   

It began as a personal Bible study.  I wanted to know more about the woman who broke the jar in the house of Simon the Pharisee. I wanted to investigate the depth of her passion in worship.  Her courage.  Jesus’ response. Not long after the Bible study began, it became a message.  Then, when I went to prepare the message for our congregation, it became a two-week teaching. Now, after eight years of research and a trip to Israel, it is a 460-page book. 

Friends who have read it in its self-published format, tell me they have experienced personal change and growth through reading. Many of them have been kind enough to write reviews for my publisher.  How did we get here, exactly?  I don’t remember ever planning to write a book.  It just sort of happened.  I think it came down to just taking the “next logical step” as the Holy Spirit made the direction clear. 

So, why am I writing today?  Just to bring you into the circle; to let you know its coming.  I’m excited.  The name of the book is Journey: A Novel. It is being published by Advantage Books (advbooks.com).  Some of you have helped me to get to this point, and I am so grateful.  Thank you.  Thank you.. Thank you….  (If you have questions about the process, you can email me at awakenedtogrow@yahoo.com).

Periodically, from this point forward, I will post excerpts from “Journey,” so you can see the kind of book it is…..  If, as you read, you have comments, I would love to have your input…

I finished the research for my second book last month; Journey Continued.  The prologue is written now; and I am beginning the process of constructing a novel about the early church — Amazing…. What I have discovered in the process is the revelation of an ancient world paralleling our own so closely, that I find myself  anticipating the end-time outpouring of the Spirit with even greater excitement. 

 Thank you for taking time to read this blog.  Thanks for your encouragement and your support.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you.  Blessings.

(C)2010 DG — awakenedtogrow.com

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