Tuesday, October 18, 2011
One of the wonderful Katies - Katie Davis - took a different path after graduation to say the least. She is now the unmarried mother of 14 young girls. Is that even possible? Is this one of those stories about youth gone bad?
I need to give a warning to any potential readers at this point. Do not pick up Kisses from Katie if you live a comfortable life and don't want anything or anyone messing up your comfort zone.
Katie's story is a story of youth gone good. It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking - and in reading it you will never be satisfied with a status quo lifestyle again. If you have never felt a gentle nudge from God that you have something beyond yourself to accomplish in this world - or if you have suppressed and ignored the nudge - this book serves as a loud, clanging, blaring wakeup call to hear and embrace your call.
"Kids" can be idealists - and when Caroline told me Katie was going to do a yearlong mission project before attending college, I thought that sounded great - that it would be good for her. Little did I know ... I did know Katie's parents were quite nervous when she said the project would be serving in an orphanage in Uganda. After surveying the situation in Africa carefully, her dad reluctantly gave his permission for her to go - with the condition that she promise to come back and enroll in college and move on with her life. She was true to her word - but even as she attended classes the fall of her return, she was miserable, thinking only of her "girls" back in Uganda.
Katie - high school homecoming queen and student body president and honor student and girlfriend to a handsome, committed, spiritual, star athlete - had every reason to "come home." But her heart was back in Uganda with the motherless children she had fallen in love with. Is it any wonder that the name she has been given by the people of her village is "Mommy." Katie's ongoing adventures in Uganda are amazing and fit the adage that truth is stranger than fiction. In her case, it is not stranger, but more incredible.
My family has been blessed by the Katie who befriended the "new kid" at school. We've been privileged to meet two of her daughters, Patricia and Grace. Most of all we have been inspired to step out of our comfort zone and to look around to see what God is doing in the world that we need to take part in.
I can't recommend Kisses from Katie highly enough for the spiritual blessings you will experience reading this story of relentless love and redemption.
Posted by Mark Gilroy at 7:18 PM
Friday, October 7, 2011
We live in a culture that is skeptical of most things spiritual - but that can't seem to get enough of dark, scary movies and books - from Rosemary's Baby to The Exorcist and a host of annual releases. So what more can be said about demons and evil spirits?
I will establish up front that I am friends with the author of The Day Satan Called and worked with him a bit on the development of the project. But that doesn't mean I can't be a raving fan and recognize some special contributions Bill has made through this book, does it?
I met Bill Scott and his wife Janet about a year ago to discuss a couple publishing projects they needed to work on for an organization for youth they founded and run. In the course of the conversation Bill mentioned off-handedly that he had written a manuscript (with more than a little help from Janet) of his experience with a ... witch ... who he had invited to live in his home in order to help her ... okay. Suffice it to say I watched Bill just a little more closely to see what kind of guy he really was. What I noticed then and have seen confirmed over and over in the subsequent year is that Bill is direct and honest to a fault. I took the manuscript home and was transfixed - and terrified. That's the first thing I would say about The Day Satan Called - it is a well-written, fast-paced, entertaining, and incredibly scary story. Bill seems to take you to the edge of the cliff at the end of every chapter. About the time you think what he lived through couldn't get worse - it does.
I'm not going to give away any spoilers, but I'll note that the book has a totally unexpected ending. The story is great but it is Bill's observations that make this book special. In the process of looking back at how things started and ended, Bill asks and answers some poignant questions about demon possession: is it related to multiple personality disorder (MPD) - sometimes? All of the time? How much of what is called demon possession is someone's personal fantasy or even a con game? Or both? How prevalent is demon possession in our society and how concerned should we be? With all the temptations in the world that seem to work so well with so many, why would Satan even bother with possessing of some people? Can a Christian be demon possessed - or in the case of a person suffering from MPD, can one personality be redeemed and another personality be possessed?
I mentioned that Bill is honest and direct. He doesn't claim to know all the answers to those and other questions, but he does a great job of presenting what happened to him - even the parts that are personally embarrassing and he'd rather forget - and reaffirming the scripture: "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4).