Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Stars Collide

Stars Collide: A Novel (Backstage Pass)The other night I read Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If any of you wants to be my followers, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me."


I realized that in this simple an oft-quoted statement there is a map for new believers. Step 1: Turn from your selfish ways - meaning, repent of your sins and acknowledge that you aren't the center of the universe, God is. Step 2: Take up your cross - meaning, take on the identity of being a Christian, a follower of Christ. Put on the Spirit, turn to Jesus, and ask Him to save you. Step 3: Follow me - meaning, start living your life by seeking His will. Read and follow the Bible. Go where He sends you, and at the end of your life, you will follow Him in the journey He has already taken to Heaven, where He will greet you with, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!" It's the following that is the lifelong journey, known within the church as sanctification. The other two steps may be repeated. When we fall astray, sometimes we need to remind ourselves that we have sinned and need to return to Jesus' feet.

The first two steps are vital because they must be completed in order to be a follower of Christ. If you try to jump to step 2 (taking up the cross) without step 1 (turn from selfish ways), the cross will feel heavy and uncomfortable. You won't understand what it means to be a follower of Jesus because you are still too wrapped up in yourself. Those who try to jump from step 1 to step 3 will flounder in their faith, because often God uses discipline or trials to refine us, but if you failed to pick up the cross, take up the Spirit, you won't have the strength to get through the trials and may become angry or rebellious at what feels like punishment.

Jesus was only on earth for thirty-three years, and only ministered for three of those. Every word he spoke had to resonate not just with his disciples, but with readers for millennia to come, so sometimes it's important to pay close attention to when He speaks, especially when He tells us how to follow Him.

Have you taken the three steps needed to follow Jesus? I have, and I can't begin to share all of the wondrous changes in my life, the most important is the peace and joy in my soul that is unshakable. I wish the same for you.

Stars Collide by Janice Thompson is the first book in the Backstage Pass series about Hollywood actress Kat Jennings. Star of the popular family sit-com Stars Collide, Kat's character Angie has fallen head over heels with co-worker Jack, and life has imitated art as Kat has fallen in love with co-star Scott Murphy as well. Kat's grandmother, Lenora Worth, was a star during the Golden Age of Hollywood, and seems to be still living back in that time, much to Kat's dismay and Lenora's memory seems to be failing to the point that she mistakes Jack's proposal to Angie as the real deal and spills the news to the press. Kat and Scott need to figure out if their romance can survive the stress of publicity, and Kat discovers a secret Lenora has been keeping for far too long. Thompson's Christian romance novels are filled with unusual joy and exuberance. Her characters are always firm in their faith and use it to guide their actions, but she keeps them from becoming boring or cliched. The dialogue is always filled with humor and heart, and Stars Collide is no exception. The ending is a nice surprise, and she neatly sets up the next couple of books in the series through some interesting smaller characters.

Thank you to Revell for providing me with a copy of this book for review. Available February 2011 from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group at your favorite bookseller. 

2 comments:

Rebecca Bany said...

Sounds like a good book. Will it be available in ebook format also?
www.rebeccabany.com

Christy Lockstein said...

Rebecca, it is available on Kindle. Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004DNWG34/sr=1-1/qid=1296760724/ref=sr_1_1_oe_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1296760724&sr=1-1

Thanks for being such a regular reader! I always enjoy reading your comments :)