Category: Blog

Phoebe’s Journey Reviews Coming In!

Phoebe’s Journey Reviews Coming In!

Another 5 star review on Amazon!

I was intrigued by the concept of this book, I have read the book of Romans and heard it read in Church many times but could not remember Phoebe being mentioned, I have read Paul ‘s letters to the church in Corinth also many a time, so was interested in how this new author to me would go about building and telling her story.

I was surprised how quickly I got sucked into the lives of Phoebe, her family, friends and enemies, I felt like I knew them and was going through everything with them. In amongst the story of Phoebe you get to meet Paul the Apostle and see things through his eyes and experience the development of the new church of Christians, some who worship in secret and some who are brave and worship in the open.

This book had me in tears towards the end and has opened my eyes to areas of development needed in my own faith. I cannot wait to read part two and I will definitely be reading this again!

Have you read the book? Have you left a review?

 

 

New Review

New Review

We’re starting to hear from readers and the reviews for Part 1 of Phoebe’s Journey are very encouraging. Check this out from Goodreads:

As a seminary student and minister who occasionally preaches and teaches, I normally find myself rooted in the world of textual studies and non-fiction. Although this first installment of Collett’s trilogy falls under “Christian fiction,” it is apparent from the first chapter the breadth and depth of historical studies that lay the foundation for this captivating 1st century story and its various historical characters, settings, and plots. With the aid of the character glossary to keep the relationships between the characters clear, I found myself engrossed in the lives of multiple major and minor characters and cheering both for and against them. The most impactful element of this narrative on me was the way it imagined the lives of Paul and Phoebe, two biblical characters we know very much and very little about, respectively. I eagerly anticipate the next two installments and will be rooting Phoebe on to Rome the whole way!

Thank you for taking time to read Phoebe’s Journey and leaving a review. ALL reviews are welcome!

The Apostle Paul’s Advice

The Apostle Paul’s Advice

There’s a section in Part 1 of Phoebe’s Journey when Nicholas, one of the primary characters, meets with Paul. There meeting takes place after the Apostle has been brought before the Roman authorities following a complaint by the Jewish synagogue leaders. Paul tells the young man that he ran into his father that day and chuckles as he says, “He was there under more fortunate circumstances than me, I’ll admit.”

Nicholas asks, “You can laugh at being hauled before the Proconsul?”

And the Apostle Paul responds, “I take it seriously, Nicholas. But I understand the leaders of the synagogue are threatened by the message I’m bringing on behalf of the Messiah. They are the ones to be worried. I’ve been in their place. Their world is changing and their hearts are not open yet. With the Lord’s help, I am determined to be patient with them.”

A wise reader sent this comment to me about this exchange between Paul and Nicholas:

It fits very well [when considering] all the changes that have happened in the church during our lifetime. The message of Romans is acceptance and that requires us to have time for our hearts to be opened as well as the hearts of the ones promoting the change. It gives both of us time to evaluate the change to see if it violates scripture or if He challenges our comfort zone.

I have thought about this all day long. When it comes to change–which is rarely easy–how often have we witnessed change agents overstep their bounds in their zeal to bring that change about? And, on the other hand, how often do we witness those who are change-averse dig their heels in and put the brakes on, before they ever even hear the other side out?

This reader is so correct to remind us that practicing acceptance, and opening our hearts, will encourage us to find common ground.

The Apostle Paul’s Crown That Would Not Last

The Apostle Paul’s Crown That Would Not Last

The Isthmian Games are very prominent in Phoebe’s Journey Part 1: Of Passion And Pride. Historical records tell us they probably started in the 6th century BC, took place every two years in the Corinth area, and alternated with the other three Panhellenic games. Most likely these games are part of the reason the Apostle Paul, Priscilla and her husband Aquila, set up their tent-making enterprise in Corinth.

The Isthmian Games focused primarily on combat sports. The other three Panhellenic games (Olympics, Pythian, and Nemean) included running sports, as well as combat sports.

Here are the events we know occurred during the Isthmian Games:

  • Greek boxing
  • Greek wrestling
  • Pankration [A brutal combat sport with few rules]
  • Chariot racing

Victors at the festival were awarded a crown of celery. When Greece became part of the Roman Empire, the crown changed Isthmian_Games; Crown; Apostle_Paulfrom celery to laurel leaves. Eventually, the laurel wreath became a symbol of accomplishment and distinction. The expression “resting on one’s laurels” refers to someone relying on past successes for continued recognition. At some universities the laurel wreath is used as a symbol of the master’s degree. The word laureate in poet laureate refers to the laurel wreath. Even the Boy Scouts have borrowed from the Isthmian tradition and put a wreath of service on their patches as a symbol of service. 

When the Apostle Paul wrote his first letter to the Corinthians, he knew the Christians reading it would understand his reference to the crown awarded at the Isthmian Games:

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

1 Corinthians 9:25

 

 


Reading Fever

Reading Fever

I read about 75 books every year. Reading is an addiction for me. I am in a monthly book club at our public library. Over the last few summers I’ve been reading books on the Time 100 Greatest Novels. I read memoirs, biographies (particularly Presidential biographies), best sellers, fiction, non-fiction. You name it, I read it.

People like me are lucky to be living in 2017. During the 1700s, when novels first became readily available, many prominent pundits were concerned that people were reading too much. They were especially concerned about young women. They dubbed this ailment “reading rage,” “reading fever,” “reading mania,” or “reading lust.” Oh my. Please tell me there’s no cure.

Rich Man, Poor Man

Rich Man, Poor Man

After Corinth was rebuilt by Caesar in 44 BC as a Roman colony, people from throughout the empire began to to settle there in droves, including a large number of freed slaves. Because of Corinth’s geographical position it quickly grew into a valuable trade center. Land travelers from throughout Greece had to pass through the city on most southern routes, plus with two nearby ports it was a huge shipping center. Tourism was also a big industry for Corinth. Every two years Corinth hosted the Isthmian Games–similar in size and scope to the Olympics.

All of this meant that Corinth grew very quickly from a backwater town to the third largest city in the Roman Empire. Corinth went from very poor, to very rich. Some of its top officials were children of former slaves who had earned their freedom and come into money. In Phoebe’s Journey, Phoebe’s mother and father are both freed slaves. Miklos builds his shipping agency to be the largest in the region.

But not everyone benefitted from the growth and the booming economy. Like many cities that grow quickly, huge swaths of people were left behind by the more successful. Corinth became a city with a wide disparity between rich and poor.

Corinth was also a city known for its wild living. It had more than three temples devoted to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, desire, and beauty. The city’s worship of Aphrodite coupled with the large numbers of sailors and itinerant travelers led Corinth to become so known for its promiscuity that its name became slang. “To act like a Corinthian,” was to be drunk. “To play like a Corinthian,” was another way of talking about sex.

Prosperity, tourism, pride, promiscuous culture…it’s easy to see why at least one Biblical  scholar has called Corinth, “at once the New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas of the ancient world.”

National Booklovers Day

National Booklovers Day

How fun that on National Booklovers day the first big box of Phoebe’s Journey books arrived. They’re hot off the presses and ready to be distributed to everyone who preordered them. If you didn’t pre-order your copy, you can get it from Amazon, Apple books, B&N, and Smashwords. Here’s a link to Amazon:

 

 

Reviews

Reviews

Formal reviews by book critics are nice, but unsolicited comments like this text I just received are even better:

“I’ve been under the weather this week and found lots of free time last night and this evening to read. I was hoping to finish before Sunday, but the storyline sucked me in and before I knew it I was through with Part 1! So, so enjoyable and I’m overwhelmed by how much research had to be done.”

Phoebe’s Journey Ebook Now Available

Phoebe’s Journey Ebook Now Available

I’m so happy to announce that the ebook version of Phoebe’s Journey Part 1 is now available. You can order it for just $3.99 from Amazon. It is really helpful if you leave a review on Amazon.com after you read the book. Although I hope you love the book, neutral and even negative reviews are useful.

If you prefer a paperback version, stay tuned. It will be ready for you to order shortly.

UPDATE: The paperback book is available now!

 

 

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