Home / Books / Jennifer Ball’s “Here” Contrasts Alive and Far From Christ Relationships

Jennifer Ball’s “Here” Contrasts Alive and Far From Christ Relationships

Jennifer Ball’s book, “Here”, serves as a reminder to readers that regardless of the sin, God is faithful to us. To those of us who ask for forgiveness, HE is there. Forgiveness leads to salvation, and there waiting for us, waiting for me, waiting for you, or waiting for her, is godliness. Bell’s book opens a journey of broken promises and broken families. Lying ahead of teenagers who grew up in a society leading away from the faith in God, a broken trail reveals God. Not just God who is waiting for you, but God who is fighting for you.

Jennifer is able to show the difference between a believer who has a relationship with Jesus, and a believer who just knows what He did for us. Many people we meet will tell us they have been “saved” by God. What does that mean? “Saved?” For some, it means “I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior, and I choose to follow the ways of the Lord in my walk, closer to thee, each day.” Others mean “I am a person who accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, yet I have no relationship with Him.” “I have accepted Him only to escape the penalty of my sins.”

“Here” is a story about Christian morals and values meeting head on with today’s progressive society which is decaying away from Scripture. Joshua is a teen who claims to be a born-again believer of Christ, yet lives a life that Jesus died so we can sin rather than to save us from them. God has a plan for this soon to be man, but Joshua can’t hear Him through his frolicking with the world. God knows that it will take a message to deter Joshua from this destructive path, and there is only one way to get that message to him.

“Here” is set in today’s progressive society. It is a story describing Christian morals and values. With scripture and Christ encircling the lives of two teens, a circle of friends and a family member, become the double-edged sword leading Joshua, to regard his loyalty towards God, less strongly than Abigail. High-school senior, Joshua, becomes involved in parties and premarital sex. Abigail is a freshman at a high school in another town, whose closest friend is Jesus. (Ball, 2015)

Joshua and Abigail are both born-again believers in Christ. Having both chosen to continue their journey, holding the hand of Christ, but with a different loyalty to Him. Abigail chose the Lord to walk with her, and there she would be pleasing to HIM. Joshua would accept Christ to walk, but only for show. God has a plan for Joshua, but this plan is hidden under the sins of Joshua’s lifestyle. To help Joshua see the choices he is making, a bit more clearly, God sends someone into his life, to help him make some changes, his dad. Although Abigail lives in another town, she dramatically, becomes part of Joshua’s life, and neither one prepared for what would come.

Are we prepared for what will come? Are our children prepared for what will come? Have you talked to your teen about Jesus? Has your teen talked to you about Jesus? Today, we are filled with the promise of Jesus, the promise of salvation, the promise of life after death in Heaven with our Savior, and the promise of no worries, if tomorrow does not come, and we are robbed of so much when we choose not to follow Christ. We spend so much time doing things our way. Then, we find God. Some of us, at an early age; a percentage of us will journey it together with God, and the remainder will journey it alone. We carry this false sense of security with us, thinking- “Saved once, saved always!” Just keep doing what I want, and remember, I am a child of God.

OUR TWO CENTS….

Jennifer Ball compared the avoidance of teens having premarital sex, to the likelihood of you or I, speeding despite the posted speed limit. Our laws, they are man made, yet we are expected to follow them as true law-abiding citizens. Therefore, do we really expect teens to refrain from having premarital sex, if there are people out there not abiding by the law? Well, I assume some would see it that way, but I feel we should take this a step further, just to “paint the bigger picture”, so to speak.

Firstly, teens having premarital sex, is quite a bit of difference than you or I blowing the speed limit. Let me explain why. If I am driving my car in an unsafe manner, well over the speed limit? I am endangering a life. There are very few documented cases when teens having premarital sex have died in the act, but it can happen. However, the likelihood of my fast driving causing bodily harm is more of an issue.

Secondly, most law-abiding citizens do so without hesitation. It isn’t because a man-made law is being questioned. The Bible specifically states in the Book of Romans, Chapter 13, Verses, 1-7 ~

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”

God places authority over the laws over us. As long as the law of the land does not contradict the law of God, we are instructed to obey the laws of the land. As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law. However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. Remembering how John did not resist his punishment, instead, he accepted it, and used it to express his faith Therefore, speeding and all other forms of laws which have been established for the betterment of safety and living in this world by man, does justify the means. As we all live together in this world, it is something we should all do to be productive members of society.

OUR PRAYER…

Dear Heavenly Father,

I praise your name Lord, as I call on you to give thanks for all YOU are, and for YOUR mercy and YOUR grace, in which YOU give so freely. I love you Father, and I seek out my heart for the promises made, and I come forward letting it be known to YOU, and to my children, that YOUR will comes first in my life.

Lord, I ask YOU to use me to bring YOUR will to others as often as YOU deem fit. Lord, as we look around, we see so many needs developing in this country, and under the direction of our government leaders, schools, families and our church leaders all have needs.

 

Sometimes it seems that there is so much to pray about that I feel overwhelmed. People are hurting, people are dying, and these terrorists are going against the laws of the land, and the laws of our God. It is in these times now that I look to YOU for strength.

Lord, I want YOU to know, without YOU, I am nothing. I trust YOU with all of my cares. Without YOU, we as a nation, will not overcome. I call on YOU Lord, to work on my children, and to see me in all situations, good and bad, working for you. Nothing is too difficult for YOU.

AMEN

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About Brenda Stapleton

Brenda Stapleton is a professional writer and social media enthusiast. She is the founding columnist of from the park bench, and continues blogging under the same headline today. She is a content writer, technical writer, communication and procedural consultant, who considers it both an honor, and a privilege to have worked with such a diverse group of subject matter experts throughout the years. She feels it is through collaboration and communication with professionals in other programs, where meaningful partnerships are formed and challenging projects are culminated which produce awareness, integration, and increased success in finding solutions to mutual problems.

Brenda is a former primary and secondary educator, with a Louisiana teaching certification from (ULM) University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is a former nurse tech and registered nurse working under the ULM-RN program. She certified through the (AFA) American Fitness Association as a personal trainer, and is a certified law enforcement professional under (POST) Police Officer Standards Training in the State of Louisiana. She is well-versed in the Arts and Sciences, holding a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Arts in the discipline of Criminal Justice with minors in Sociology and Psychology. She has credited graduate work in English and Integrated Learning through Technology and Communication, carried over from her Ph.D. work in Integrating Technology, Learning and Psychology from Grand Canyon University.

and More…personally
Brenda grew up in Columbia, Louisiana in the same house, where her parents still live, today. She began life literally, stumbling every day. She was fitted for her first set of braces on her legs, as a toddler. She would wear braces on her legs, until the age of four, and orthopedic shoes until the age of six. Thinking the past was behind her, she took the world in leaps and bounds, until at the peak of her career, she faced yet another set-back, only this one, left her with a neurological injury that was irreversible. Since then, she has strived continuously for a career, where her passion for creativity would be fueled by the fervor of chasing a sense of sobriety that did not leave her doubtful of a future. Armed with a sense of humor, a purpose in life, and a heart full of dreams, she took the road less traveled, compliments of Robert Frost, and she has learned many things along the way.
She has learned adaptability is her best characteristic, and humility is her worst. She has learned the day is scarier than the night, for in the day you will see the harm that befalls you. She has learned unconditional love is never stronger than in the very young, and as it is in the very old. She has learned no matter what emotion a person is experiencing, a cuddly puppy can make you re-evaluate it all. She has learned the only certainty in life, is death- be ready. She has learned the most experienced emotions are forgiveness, grief and hope, and she has learned that patience is the most taught virtue.
In her free time, Brenda can be found lost in the elements of nature. She enjoys cycling, golfing, swimming, and practicing yoga. Her favorite places to be in this world are at the edge of the sand, with the ocean waves kissing her toes, or chasing her footprints away; or riding a bike through the park under the trees full of multi-colored leaves in the fall, with the wind blowing gently at her face, and is deeply overwhelmed by nature. It’s the fleeting moments when she is caught in a rainstorm, or snowflakes begin to fall, and melt as soon as they touch the warmth of skin, or when watching over a cocoon, as it changes into a butterfly, or a rose bud into bloom, when she feels human, small and meek.
Brenda is a published author of articles and blogs. She is currently writing her first book, but acknowledges her two greatest accomplishments, as the two who call her momma. She is inspired by watching her daughters become individuals, face their giants, and grow in life, while each follows her dreams and searches for a place and a purpose to aspire and grow. With several years behind her, and her children growing into adults, Brenda has taken the time to focus on her purpose. In doing so, she has unpacked the dreams she had placed away for safe keeping, and with a bit of uncertainty of what lies ahead, she sets out on yet another road less traveled, and this time, she says she takes a pen and paper along the way.

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