Sunday, August 19, 2018

Summer Stories: Redemption

The Key to Heaven
A guest post by Lee Carver

Disregarding all those Saint-Peter-at-the-gate jokes, what determines whether you gain entry into heaven? I mean you, personally. An often-effective evangelism question is, “If you died today, would you be in heaven?” Most people will say yes, though some say it rather guardedly. Then the evangelist follows up with, “Why?” The answer may be, “I’ve done more good than bad in my life. I never killed anyone …” and the list goes on.

When my husband and I moved from our missionary service in the Brazilian Amazon to Texas in order to care for his parents, we joined their church. It’s a body of sincere believers who do a lot of good in the community, but some of the basic theology gets lost in the shuffle. Eventually, a couple of men in our Sunday School class came to my husband with doubts about their eternal salvation. These were good people who had been active church members for many years. They asked, “How can I know I’ll go to heaven when I die?” My husband reminded each man of the scriptures he’d heard for years:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16-18 NIV).

“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6 NIV).

Other scriptures speak conclusively of this truth: belief in Jesus is the only door to heaven. What’s more, God removes our confessed sin “as far as the east is from the west,” (Psalm 103:12 NIV) and salvation is “not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:9 NIV).

What if a woman grew up in an unchurched family and had a real come-to-Jesus moment as an adult? What if she accepted Jesus, repented of her sins, and studied the Bible, but she had difficulty accepting the totality of God’s forgiveness? Simple forgiveness might be good enough for most people, but she had been seriously off track a few times. Regardless of her weekly studies in theology, she might feel she needed to do some kind of penance. This is the premise of Rebecca’s Redemption. Rebecca Singer, an American RN, has decided she will serve God in the most difficult place in the world, the deep Amazon jungle, for as many years as she lived a godless life. She will pay God back and thus build up points to enter the Kingdom of God.

I felt this was a story I was meant to write—called to write if you’ll allow me to play that card. The romantic thread, well, that was my own idea. Maybe if it’s also a sweet love story, more people will read it. Maybe Christians will enjoy that truth, and others will come to believe. 

And that’s why I wrote the third book in the Call to the Jungle Series, Rebecca’s Redemption. If you have any doubt or argument with the thesis, let’s talk.

Author Bio:
Lee Carver and her husband lived in the Brazilian Amazon for six years, where they served with a Brazilian organization, formerly MAF-Brazil. 

He flew an amphibious ten-seat Cessna Caravan over jungle area half the size of the United States. 

Their home in Manaus—the largest city in the world with no road to it—was a free guest house for missionaries, pilots, mechanics, and medical volunteers. 

She went on missions, speaks the language, and knows the people whose story she tells.

Book Blurb for Rebecca's Redemption:

A nurse seeking redemption for past sins joins a doctor contending against the jungle. Both healers need healing.

Rebecca Singer once was the kind of nurse who partied all weekend and closed the bar with the last karaoke tune. Then she met the Lord and vowed to make up to Him for those wasted years by serving in the worst place in the world. She determined to earn her redemption in the Brazilian Amazon jungle.

Dr. Ed Pierce, a widower with two young daughters, operates a Christian hospital in the Brazilian Amazon. A lifelong believer, he struggles with the tragedy of losing his wife—his love, the mother of his children. When the mission board agrees to hire a nurse, he requests an American who can split her time between the hospital and home schooling his children.

Buy Rebecca's Redemption (book) on Amazon
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  1. What a blessing to be a missionary! I am thankful for people who travel to other parts of the world to share God's love. I am thankful for people who share God's love in their local community, too. Blessings to all. :-)

  2. Yes, it was a blessing, Melissa. Lots of hard work and many intense relationships. I wrote about it in the not-for-profit book, "Flying for Jesus." The title came from the pilots' frequent comment, "Sweating for Jesus."

  3. I enjoyed your post, Lee. You and your family have big hearts to serve others. I'll be getting your book soon, it sounds wonderful.

  4. This is the only novel of my 4 set in the Brazilian Amazon which doesn't have an airplane as a major character. And Rebecca doesn't fall in love with a pilot. The 3 ebooks in the "Call to the Jungle" series are each 99 cents now or during the rest of August. (I have no control over the price of the traditionally published novel.) Snap them up now and enjoy at your leisure!

  5. I have read other books by Lee Carver, but none in this series. I love the fact that Carver is writing about missionary work in a place she and her husband have actually lived and ministered.

  6. Enjoyed the post and book sounds like a good one.

  7. Wow sounds like an amazing book. Thank you for the chance to win. Thank you for your service in missions too.rose blacked (at)gmail (dot) com

  8. Thank you, Connie, Ann, and Rose. As for our missionary service, that was an answer to our own "Call to the Jungle" following my husband's international business career. Well, he took early retirement to be a missionary pilot. Those were the hardest and best years of our lives.


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