Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Season of Miracles

I found so many things to love about Rusty Whitener’s debut novel Season of Miracles just out from Kregel Publishing. Rusty really knocked it out of the park with this book. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist a baseball reference.)

I’d read Rusty’s screenplay about a little league baseball season set in 1971 some time ago, so I knew the story in advance of reading the novel. I thought it might take away some of my enjoyment of the book, but not so. In fact, I’m going to read it again. You see, Rusty has the rare gift among novelists of being not only able to tell a great story, but he also leaves the reader with many things to ponder long after the book is finished. It could in part be due to the Doctor of Ministry he received from Gordon Conwell, or maybe it’s just Rusty being Rusty, but his insightful dialogue and narrative had me wanting to reach for a pen to jot some of it down for future reference. An example from early in the book when the lead character, twelve-year-old Zach, encounters Rafer, a child with autism: “There was a gap, a breach between my words and his mind. Later I wondered if I was really some distance behind him, not the other way around. Time shifts perspective; life’s angles reverse. The weak become the strong and the strong are worn to dust.”

Though Rusty deals with difficult and at times sad situations, his writing is infused with hope from beginning to end. When I finished the book, I felt much the same way I do when I finish my morning devotions--encouraged and uplifted--strengthened for what lies ahead. That’s because of the scriptural truth Rusty has skillfully woven throughout.

Rusty is an actor as well, most recently appearing in the movie The Bill Collector and being cast in the upcoming Alone Yet Not Alone. The scenes in his book spring to life, because Rusty is a player as well as a writer in his stories.

I’ll have an interview here on this blog with Rusty in a few days, but meanwhile read the book. Rusty’s screenplay of the story won second place in the MovieGuide Awards in 2009 and is in preproduction with Elevating Entertainment Motion Pictures. So, I’m sure we’re going to hear and see much more about this lovely tale.

At one time, Rusty had a portion of Philippians 3:10 as part of his email signature, “I want to know Christ…” Thank you Rusty for writing Season of Miracles, because you’ve helped me in my knowledge of Christ.

You can catch Rusty on his website at www.rustywhitener.com, or at http://www.aseasonofmiraclesbook.com/

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