Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, writes, watches chick flicks and waits for summertime to return to the beach. She is the author of Biblical novels In the Shadow of Sinai and By the Waters of Kadesh.
Not of This World
In addition to my novels, I write for a ministry called Christ to the World. CTTW produces radio dramas that are translated and broadcast to over thirty countries where either Bibles are not allowed or are in extremely short supply, or where literacy is an issue. All the writers and editors in the United States volunteer their time and talents. I’ve just finished writing my first series for them, Joshua: Warrior of the Faith.
Each of the eleven episodes was like a tiny little historical novel of about thirty-five hundred words. They had their own characters, plot, theme, lesson and they all ended with a gospel message. Writing them was different from writing novels in that they contain only sound effects and dialog, but other than that it was very similar.
The last one I wrote was from Joshua 23 and 24, Joshua’s farewell to Israel. These last two chapters are his final speech, and the thing he keeps repeating is that the Israelites must choose whom they will serve.
3,500 words of constant speech from one character without any action is not very exciting on the radio. So I came up with a fictional character, the youngest son of one of Joshua’s officers. Reuben had been seduced into worshipping a false god by Donatiya, a lovely Canaanite girl. It started out innocently enough. First he just went with her to the temple. “If you love me, you’ll come with me.” A few weeks later, he went inside. Months later, he sacrificed with her. After all, her gods didn’t care if he still worshipped Yahweh, whereas his God was so selfish, and only wanted His people to worship Him. It was a logical and convincing argument.
Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Our land is every bit as full of false gods now as Canaan was then. There are many things in this world competing for our worship, for our adoration. Most of them are not idols that demand that we abandon God entirely. No, they’re not that obvious. Usually they are time-stealers that creep in little by little, stealing a bit more of our time, our attention, our devotion. Just as then, they are “snares and traps.” We have to “be very careful,” and “hold fast to the Lord [our] God.”
We’re never going to fit in in this world. We never have. We’re not supposed to. God said it through Joshua 3,500 years ago: “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
He also said it though Paul 2,000 years ago: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
And He says it to us today, in the quietness of our hearts, whenever we seek Him. To serve God, we have to turn away from this world. But that’s OK. Because God has so much more to offer than this world could ever dream of.
By the Waters of Kadesh
by Carole Towriss
Kamose, once Egypt’s most trusted soldier, no longer has a country to serve or king to protect. Moses insists God has a plan for him, but Kamose is not so sure. Tirzah’s cruel husband died shortly after they left Egypt. She escaped his brutality, but now she’s alone, and once they reach their new land, how will she survive? Gaddiel, Tirzah’s brother-in-law, is chosen as one of the twelve spies sent to scout out Canaan. He’s supposed to go in, get information and come back, but all he really wants is to bring down Joshua.
Great post. Enjoyed it.
Thanks for stopping by, Marjorie. I enjoyed Carole’s post also.
Carole, thanks for writing this guest post. It was very timely and is needed in the church today.