Today I’m honored to have Chana Keefer, author of the Fall, as my guest. I’ve been thinking a lot about her question: What is your one thing? Sometimes life has a way of narrowing things down a bit, of slicing away ulterior fillers and reminding us of those things we cherish most–God and family. As you read her post, prayerfully consider her question. What is your *one thing.* Not what do you hope your one thing is, but, based on how you live your day-to-day, the thoughts that fill your head, the things you long for, what is your one thing?
The grizzled cowboy shifted forward in the saddle and fixed the nervous city boy with a steely gaze, “The secret of life? One thing,” he said holding up a finger.
“Right. One thing,” the city-slicker parroted back expectantly, “What is it?”
The cowboy grinned, “That’s what you gotta figure out.”
(to view the scene on Youtube, click Here)
One Thing. What did Jack Palance’s tough cowboy in the movie City Slickers mean? He was pointing out that a focused life would be a fulfilled one.
Think about the stars in the nighttime sky. One star is true north—Polaris, the North Star. By referring regularly to Polaris, a captain can guide a ship, knowing with certainty that he is heading toward his desired destination. But what if he got just a bit off. What if he decided that the bright planet Mars in the nighttime sky should be his point-of-reference because it was brighter on a given night? Then, because he liked it better, he decided this ever-changing light in the sky would represent true north? Right, he would end up lost, confused and far off-course.
But don’t we do that all the time? We decide what to wear based on the ever-changing fashion world, we decide what’s intelligent based on evolving scientific data, we decide what to aim for as a career based on emerging trends in business, we base our relationships on our fickle emotions—then wonder why we are lost, confused and far off-course from the meaningful life we would like to live.
One thing. What is going to be that one thing, the true north, the unchanging aim, in your life? This one question will set the course for your life’s direction.
But choose wisely.
As a follower of Christ, He is my true north. Proverbs 3 verse 6 says it like this: In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.
What does that mean—In all your ways… ?
Job opportunity? Look to God.
Possible romantic relationship? Look to God.
Where to go, what to do, who to hang out with, how to spend your money—these are just a few of the in all your ways where God is true north and, in Shakespearean terms, “That ever-fixed mark,” your Polaris that checks the course and keeps things on track.
So what’s one, if not the, most important choice in life? What does your life point to? An ever-fixed mark—or an ever-changing one?
Rapha, a powerful angel, had seen it all in his countless years of service. at least he thought he had. Then he met Adam.
Lucifer had it all, Adonai’s favor, Rapha’s friendship and unrivaled power throughout creation. But he wanted more.
THE FALL is a biblical retelling of ancient times through the eyes of an angel who was once best friends with Lucifer. Keefer’s writing has been compared to J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis combined with Frank Perretti and a dash of M. Night Shamalayan. Or, as one reader put it so eloquently, “Harry Potter meets the Common Book of Prayer.”
THE FALL is Chana’s first published novel. She hopes there will be many more to follow, but regardless, she’s hooked–addicted to the written word. BTW, she brakes for old barns, cute dogs, chai and people who do what they do with passion for God.
FB: Chana Keefer + my author page: The Rapha Chronicles, Book 1: THE FALL
Chana is a wife, mom of four and author. She and her family reside in Southern California. Her first novel, THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1) recently topped Amazon’s Hebrew/Old Testament Bestseller Category and hit #9 in Science Fiction/Fantasy. Chana brakes for homemade chocolate chip cookies, old barns and anytime one of her kids suggests watching “Pride and Prejudice.”
www.chanakeefer.com (her blog and way for you to get the best price on the paperback of THE FALL $10 + free shipping for orders of 3 or more!)
Join us at Living by Grace today as we talk about making God and the things of God first in our lives. I’ll leave you with this question–what’s one thing you can do this week to give God the time and focus He deserves? Is there anything God’s asking you to scale back on?
And make sure to come back to Living By Grace Friday and Saturday for a continuation of our in-depth look at the book of James.
This was great! I have recently taken a huge leap of faith at work to follow my “one thing.” Thank you for this post.
Hey Jennifer, How is it going with you? Things are going fine considering the events that have taken place in in my life. I know I’ve shared with you about some health issues; well, I recently had another sinus infection that went into my lungs and it was a dozy. I also was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, allergic to gluten/wheat etc. I missed almost two weeks of work a few weeks ago but during that time, I had some serious time with God. He slowed me down, took me down, held me down to listen to HIM. Best sick time I’ve ever had! LOL. Anyway, my husband and I have decided to take a huge leap of faith and I have given my notice at the library to step down from full time to half time. I don’t know how we will do it other than trusting in God and cutting back. I want to write in my spare time. I want to finish those two books that I’ve never finished. I want to do some volunteering and spend more time at church. It’s time. I went into my bosses office, shared with her, she said she will do all that she can to make it work. I am waiting for the final results today. I will go with whatever happens. But let me enlighten you with a twist to the story, you know as Paul Harvey would say, “the rest of the story.” On Halloween, I drove back into the parking lot from lunch, parked right next to my boss, cracked my windows open a little, locked the doors and went in to finish my afternoon. When I returned into the parking lot at 5:05 to go home, I realized my car was gone. All blood drained from me. I thought I was going crazy. I asked my coworker to come out of the building look for my car with me and low and behold, my car was STOLEN. Yup, my little white BUG was taken from the parking lot. I have no idea where it is. I have filed a police report. I have filed a claim with my insurance company. I have done all that I can. I am now waiting to see what the next step is. I have a rental car provided by my insurance. I am actually peaceful. I will see what God does with this. I allowed myself to feel all of the raw emotions from fear, sadness, loss and anger. Now I am at peace. Is this another way of God keeping me home? I can walk to work. I loved my BUG but it’s just a car. What if it’s gone or good, totaled or never to appear again? It’s a car payment gone! Is this another way for God keeping me home? Is it really a loss? It’s a big car payment. Hummmmmmmmmmmm. Whatever happens, I am giving God all of the glory. I am thanking Him for this time of testing, faith building and dependence on HIM. Why am I sharing this with you? Because you know as a writer, my desire to write, to stay home and throw my thoughts onto paper every day. This to me is a God Thing…..it is amazing! Have a great day and I’ll keep you posted. BTW: How is the Bible Study going? I am almost finished with Unglued. Love it.
I am excited for you! I’m sorry about the struggles you’ve had, but how awesome to see God using each and every event to guide you into His good and perfect will–and how beautiful that His will seems to be something you’ve longed for for some time. But isn’t that just like God?
I hope you feel better soon! Please let us know what happens with your car.
Thank you so much, Jennifer, for letting me visit today! Beautiful blog ya got here! 🙂
This “One Thing” business ain’t easy! Every day, hour, minute-by-minute soooo many things play King of the Mountain with my time, focus and energy. Even this moment, I’m striving against being pushed around by circumstances rather than keeping that laser focus on Christ and His bigger plan.
In Him we live, move and have our being! In Him is abundant life–a life of purpose, joy and effectiveness to bring others into Father God’s loving arms.
That’s my heart’s cry.
You have my prayers. Sounds like there’s quite the struggle going on over where you will be able to put your focus. I pray God’s will is crystal clear and you continue to have peace in the storm.
Beautiful post, Chana. Thank you!
Great post. Just Tweeted it.
Thanks, Elaine! I saw that on Twitter and meant to thank you.
Hi Jennifer. Thank you for hosting Chana’s book on your blog! The Fall is a powerful piece of spiritual literature, and Chana is a supremely gifted writer.
With five kids, I just don’t have time for much reading. My husband and I bought The Fall months and months ago and put it on the shelf. Our bookcases are packed with books we have noble intentions of reading in our “free time.” It just doesn’t happen often. The Fall is something different, though. My husband was first to read it and he LOVED it. He’s a big fan of C.S. Lewis (especially Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters), so this book was an inevitable winner for him. I am less than a quarter of the way through the book, and I never want to put it down. Yet, every time I pick it up, I get interrupted. I’m talking about serious “mommy! my eyebrows just burned off ’cause I forgot to open the chimney flume when I lit the fireplace” type of interruptions, not the kind that I can deal with by reading with one hand, washing my daughter’s hair with the other. I figure, this must be a powerful book for me as a follower of Jesus to warrant such distraction.
Anyways, thanks again!
Sounds like a book I must certainly read. And oh, do I understand the busyness that comes with mommy-hood.
Thanks for this wonderful post Chana. But more importantly, thank you for causing me to really think about my “one thing”. Not an easy question…not an easy answer. I continue to pray for me to know and then follow His will…and my “one thing”!
A lovely prayer, Audrey, and one Jesus promises to answer. For whether you turn to the right or the left, you shall hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.'” I know God guides us *as we need it.* I’m not sure how often He gives us the five-year plan. lol. Meaning, I think He shows us what our task is for each day, and often, it isn’t until years later, after step-by-step of faithful obedience, that we have a clear vision of His vision.
Thank you so much Linda and Elaine. Your encouragement is golden! 🙂
Audrey, it is a tough question. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Narrow your focus and increase your effectiveness.”
It feels like swimming against the tide–because it is!
My one thing? TO KNOW GOD AND MAKE HIM KNOWN.
Do I stick to that at all times? Heavens no! Every minute is a struggle. Reminds me of a Jackie Chan movie where he’s slapping away the attack with lightning-fast blocks. More of Jesus, less of me! Please!
Bless you guys. Keep fighting the good fight!
Oh, I love that quote! And your one thing. 😉 I think if we all make that our one thing as well, everything else will fall in place.
Ha! Sarah, I love you, sweet lady! So your hubby got all the way through? Awesome! Send the kids to our house for an uninterrupted reading time! I promise I’ll only notify you if the Fire Department is called. 😉