Manda's Musings

Christian Fiction Ministry?!?

Real-FaithfulI was an avid reader as a child and teenager. However, once I hit college, my recreational reading time was replaced with the wonderful world of coursework. I spent my time consuming social science textbooks and trying to grasp the main ideas of several novels in one semester for honors English. Reading as a hobby became a distant memory. After getting the hang of things in college, I began to read a lot of Christian nonfiction and self-help books. But I didn’t read another fiction novel, “just for fun”, until my early 30s. Believe it or not, I started off right where I left off, teenage fiction, ha! I found myself in emotional turmoil after seeing the first movie in the Hunger Games Trilogy. Okay, maybe not turmoil. I am an odd bird in some ways. I just found myself wanting to know more about this absurd future world where adults have decided that the best way to keep the peace, is to allow children to fight to the death annually. Although, as depraved as many are, the human race is far from beyond this barbaric practice becoming a reality. Just look at some of our past and current atrocities. I digress. So I started with the first book and before I knew it, I was finished the whole series. I read that entire series faster than I’d usually be able to read just one book in the past. When I went to search for my next book, I knew I wanted something that was more than entertainment. I wanted a fiction book that would not only keep my attention, but encourage me and feed my spirit. That’s a tall order for fiction, right? Maybe not, but in my experience I didn’t know where to start. After returning my last Hunger Games book to the library, I was just perusing the fiction section when a title caught my eye, “Faithful”. This was intriguing for me, a Christian woman having recently been devastated by a breakup. I had no idea what I was in store for. Kim Cash Tate’s “Faithful” opened with a single woman who was turning 40 on her younger sister’s wedding day. At the time, I was 33 and my younger sister was single, but you couldn’t tell me I was not this woman. I had been to more than my share of weddings in recent years and my married friends were outnumbering my single friends by then. I took that book home and delved right in. I read it on the light rail and on my lunch break. It was a breath of fresh air. The characters were not top surface, they had depth to them! The storyline was not a fairy tale, she’s rescued from her singleness by a new guy in town who starts serving in ministry at her church (I also watched a lot of Hallmark movies at the time). Life was messy sometimes, for the main character and other characters in the book, as they navigated life’s ups and downs. Some of the characters had their faith tested, which I knew all about. While others were unbelievers and new to what it looked like to consider following Jesus after living as they wanted to for many years. I forgot about that break up of mine as I examined my faith alongside the women and men in the pages of a book. A fiction book. Fast forward several years later and I’ve now read everything fiction and nonfiction that Kim Cash Tate has written. I’ve even read a few other Christian fiction authors but I always come back to my Kim books. I may have been late to the party but discovering ministry in fiction was surprising to me. Of course this is not a substitute for reading my bible and I don’t want to encourage anyone to lose perspective here, but I’ve shed tears, prayed, sang and meditated on scripture as I’ve read these books. I pass them on to others. I reread them! I talk to my husband about them. How about you? Do you read Christian Fiction? If so, share some of your favorite Christian Fiction authors and books in the comment section.

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