All Abra wants is love. She was abandoned by her mother at birth, left under a bridge to die. Her adoptive mother died of a weak heart and her adoptive father gave her up to another family. She seems to live in the shadow of her sister, the biological daughter More »
The Hero’s Lot picks up right where A Cast of Stones left off: with Church leadership in turmoil, a powerful duke making a grab for power, a dying king, and the slow invasion of supernatural forces. Even though the events of book one have left Errol a hero (and an More »
A lot of people live the Christian life like once they become a Christian, they’re just supposed to wait around until they die, then they get the joys of heaven. Others want to live the victorious Christian life, but it feels like the humdrumness of normal life keeps getting in More »
Claire Diaz-Ortiz embarks on a dream trip around the world with her best friend. One of the last stops on her trip was Kenya; she planned to climb Mount Kenya and then head back to the States. What she didn’t expect to find was Sammy Ikua Gachagua. Sammy lived in More »
It’s the late eighteen hundreds and the Wild West is becoming a little tamer. Post-slavery, the nation turned toward rebuilding and expanding. And expanding meant often meant driving the Indians from their homeland. It was a time of cowboys and outlaws, prejudice and racial pride, injustice and death. The plains More »
Joel Rosenberg is best known for his seemingly prophetic political thrillers. Last decade, it seemed as if the man couldn’t write something in his books without a version of it coming true in reality. This decade saw a shift in Rosenberg’s writing. For the past three years, he worked on More »
Quite frankly, Bob Goff is a pretty weird guy. Weird in a good way, I guess. Weird in that he’s absolutely committed to loving with the same kind of love that Jesus loves with. Weird in that he’s absolutely heels-over-head excited about the Christianity he’s living. And in Love Does, More »
After an unfortunate incident that almost cost Tom Norcross his therapist license, he moves his family away from the city out to the country life of Mattingly. Soon after their arrival, his daughter Leah begins to have conversations with a supposed imaginary friend she calls The Rainbow Man. After receiving More »
Earlier today, Josh Olds sat down with NYT bestselling novelist Ted Dekker to talk about his recent novel Water Walker and perhaps get him to divulge some details about his upcoming novel A.D. 30. Most authors like to talk about their characters or certain scenes, but for Ted the story is all about More »
Paper Angels – Travis Thrasher and Jimmy Wayne
You’ve seen them in the stores around Christmastime, an artificial Christmas tree set by the door adorned with a number of ornaments. But they’re more than just decoration. They’re hopes and dreams and faces and smiles and tears. They’re children who probably understand more than most that Christmas isn’t about consumerism; they’re kids that know the difference between needs and wants; but most of all they just want to know somebody cares. They’re Paper Angels. And this is their story.
One of those Paper Angels is Thomas Brandt, a teenager barely coping with a new school, a new life, and newfound poverty. Life wasn’t good before. Living with an abusive alcoholic never is. But now that he, his mom, and his sister have left life isn’t getting any better. They live in a ramshackle trailer, drive a beater that’s barely functional, and just putting food on the table is a struggle. It’s difficult to even accept that they need help, hard to rely on someone else to provide for them when they’ve been fighting so long, but both Thomas and his sister end up in the Angel Tree program.
But it’s not just Thomas’s story. Kevin Morrell is the head of a successful design and marketing firm that has found itself hit hard by the tough economic times. Cutbacks, he’s told. Cut, as in any profit he was making; back, as in right where he’d been stabbed. With his livelihood in flux and his wife pregnant with twins, Kevin isn’t sure adding another expense is a good idea, but at his wife’s insistence he picks one of the Paper Angels—Thomas’s.
And that’s when God begins to work.
Paper Angels is a heartfelt Christmas tale about finding kindness amid consumerism, highlighting the historic Salvation Army Angel Tree Program. But it’s so much more than that too: it’s a story of brokenness and redemption, of forgiveness and second chances, of empathy and integrity and repaying evil with good. Travis Thrasher and Jimmy Wayne have crafted three-dimensional and true-to-life characters and woven their storylines together seamlessly. The result is an inspirational masterpiece set to challenge minds and move hearts.
Past the Angel Tree Program, Wayne and Thrasher manage to tackle themes such as alcoholism, broken families, cyber-bullying, the troubled economy, why bad things happen to good people, and more. The finished product is obviously flavored by the lives of its authors. Wayne’s childhood mirrors Thomas’s story as he was himself a beneficiary of the Angel Tree program as a child. Elements of Thrasher’s life and personality show through in Kevin’s storyline, especially as he is the father of twins.
Paper Angels is the perfect early Christmas present, something to be given out before the hustle and bustle hits full swing, something to remind folks of those Salvation Army trees over the in the corner. It’s a moving and heartfelt story that shouldn’t be missed.
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