The Tree of Life Release Date
I am so excited that I can officially announce the release of The Tree of Life for April 22nd. Thank you for taking this journey with me into ancient Mesopotamia. Our collective history grounds us in this region—full of mystery, intrigue and yes—conflict. If we could hear the cries of the people that have fought and died over this land, it would be deafening. To this very day, the battle continues as ISIS tries to establish their caliphate, believing that this would usher in the end-times. It is important that we all understand and gain wisdom to know how to pray. This radical ideology cannot be won on the battlefield with more guns and bombs.
Lord, give us wisdom.
The images, the suffering, the horror of the earthquake that you read in The Tree of Life are based in reality and my experience in the massive earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. Responding with Hope Force International, I arrived at ground zero three days after the devastating quake. Even to this day, my words escape me to capture the absolute horror and devastation we entered. As I wrote The Tree of Life, I struggled with how real and descriptive to make the scenes. I know they are awful, but they barely scratch the surface. Also, understand in the midst of that horrendous affair, there were great acts of kindness, heroics, sacrifice, and love. Two weeks after caring for lines and lines of broken and battered people, our group was taking medical supplies to another hospital. We were stopped in downtown Port-au-Prince by a massive traffic snarl. With destruction all around us, the city was at a standstill. Then something I will never forget happened. Thousands of Haitians, broken and battered, people who had suffered unimaginable tragedy, who had lost everything including many of their family members, began to worship the Heavenly Father. A song started somewhere in the heart of one and spread and continued to spread until every person, as far as I could see was on their knees or standing with their hands raised, worshiping God.
Lord, have mercy.
Finally, my friend, this story is for you. We are often confused when our faith and beliefs do not match up with what we experience in life. It seems that no life is carefree. I don’t know what you are going through, but if you are living life, I suspect it is something. Possibly financial strains, problems at work or home, personal struggles, issues with your children or parents, addictions, anger, bitterness, maybe even feeling that the world would be better off without you. We all seek relief from the pains and strife that life throws at us unexpectedly, like an earthquake that shakes our world. I don’t understand suffering. I truly don’t. And worst of all, the world will do its best to beat us down. “You are not good enough, you don’t have what it takes, what’s wrong with you”—all an attack on our identity. But what if we truly knew who we are and whose we are? What would our lives be like then? In that search, we may find ourselves longing to return to union and intimacy with God. To do that, we must first understand who we are in His eyes. We long to once again walk with God in the garden in the cool of the day–and intimately know Him and be known by Him. The good news is, we are already complete in Him, already eating from the tree of life as we abide in Jesus–He in us and we in Him.
Lord, give us understanding.
May your eyes be open to the truth…