Amy K. Sorrells: Are You Quiet Enough?

Amy

Everyone’s Story warmly introduces to this blog the amazing author Amy Sorrells. I fell in love with Amy’s storytelling when she swept me into her characters’ world in her novel Then Sings My Soul and knew I had to invite her to appear as my guest. And talk about uplifting! Check out Amy’s encouraging words below, and afterwards, she’d enjoy hearing from viewers about how they can or have learned to see God right where they are and in the simple things of life. Do check out Amy’s special and lovely BookGiveaway. I’m also looking forward to hearing from you.

 

 

 

 

Lead Me Home

Amy is offering 1 Advance Reader Copy (ARC) of Lead Me Home to 1 randomly chosen commenter. The winner will be announced here on Friday, February 19th between 5-6 PM EST. To be entered in the Giveaway, please leave your contact information within your comment (you may choose to use the Contact form on the Contact Page to privately send me your email address).

About the Book:

From Amy: Lead Me Home is my third, standalone novel and releases nationwide May 1, 2016 from Tyndale House Publishers. It is a story of the things we all search for, like hope, romance, purpose, place, and love.

Here’s a synopsis:

Amidst open fields and empty pews, small towns can crush big dreams. Abandoned by his no-good father and forced to grow up too soon, Noble Burden has set his dreams aside to run the family farm. Meanwhile, James Horton, the pastor of the local church, questions his own calling as he prepares to close the doors for good. As a severe storm rolls through, threatening their community and very livelihood, both men fear losing what they care about most…and reconsider where they truly belong.

 

On hearing God by Amy Sorrells

Do you ever feel like life is too loud? I don’t know if I’m just old-fashioned, but the cacophony of sensory input—whether the radio, social media, emails, or television—feels increasingly constant and overwhelming.

Where can a person find rest?

More than that, where can a person hear God?

These questions inspired the beginnings of my newest, upcoming novel with Tyndale House Publishers called Lead Me Home.

My heart feels grieved when I pass forlorn little clapboard churches in the countryside, usually from the interstate as I’m zooming from one big city to another. As much as I enjoy today’s modern worship experiences, I miss simple hymns and small communities of believers with potlucks after the service. Tragically, according to churchleadership.org, “Every year more than 4000 churches close their doors compared to just over 1000 new church starts.” What happens if and when a church has to shut its doors?

Where is the Lord in still, small places and of society?

And, what place is there for the unnoticed, uncelebrated and unloved in our world which places so much value on bigger and better and more? The protagonists in my LEAD ME HOME, James and Noble, wonder about the same things.

I am reminded of I Kings 19:11-12 (NLT):

“…the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper…”

lmhsquare

I know I’m guilty of being mesmerized by the shiny and popular. I’m tempted to give in to trends and to focus on what the world says is valuable instead of what the Lord says matters most.

The other morning I stood in my kitchen waiting impatiently on my dogs to come in and out for their morning routines, so that I could get on with my day. The house was quiet. Daylight was only beginning to cast a glow around the yard. Then, I noticed a beautiful, chubby female cardinal in the tree near the patio, and not far beyond, in a grove of pines, was the male cardinal, bright red against the dreary brown and green winter landscape. Okay, so maybe they’re “just birds.” But the detail of their coloring, their life in the midst of a dormant garden…they were breathtaking.

“I love you with my creation,” I heard God whisper to my overburdened heart.

Thank goodness I stopped a moment to notice.

Thank goodness things were quiet enough for me to hear Him.

I fear what our society misses these days.

Questions for thought:

  1. In what unlikely place have you seen or heard from God lately?

  2. If you attend or grew up in a small town church, what’s your favorite memory?

Amy’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Everyone’s Story: @amysorrells wants to know where you go to hear God? #LeadMeHomeNovel (Tweet This)

Win @amysorrells #BookGiveaway of LEAD ME HOME. #LeadMeHomeNovel (Tweet This)

Author @amysorrells wants to hear your favorite small church memory. #LeadMeHomeNovel #Bookgiveaway (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Amy’s writing career includes three years as a weekly op-ed newspaper columnist, over two decades of medical and freelance writing, and most recently (her favorite form of prose), literary novels, including the award-winning How Sweet the Sound, Then Sings My Soul, and LEAD ME HOME. Also grateful to be a registered nurse at a busy suburban hospital, Amy lives with her husband and three sons in central Indiana.

Places to connect with Amy:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Goodreads

Pinterest

Amazon

 

Elaine Sightings This Week:

 

Infinite Characters

Friday February 12th: Infinite Characters

 

Saturday February 13th: Jodie Wolfe

 

Monday February 15th: Lighthouse-Academy

 

Tuesday February 16th: Living Our Faith Out Loud

 

Amy and I look forward to your comments. The comment area is below. Click “Comments.”

24 comments to Amy K. Sorrells: Are You Quiet Enough?

  • Every 2nd Saturday in May many in the small Wolfpen community showed up at the Wolfpen cemetery to clean it, and then the next day there was preaching and all-day singing and dinner on the grounds. I really miss that.

  • Kathleen Friesen

    The first Sunday after our move to a small town, I quietly sat in the back row of the small church. My husband was working, so I was on my own. But before the service started, the lady next to me leaned over and asked if it was my first time there. At my nodded confirmation, she whispered with a smile, “I hope you’ll come back again.” I’d found my church home.

    • elaineadmin

      Kathleen, I’m glad you visited this evening and shared this fond memory. I believe I can still see you smiling!

      Do come back for another visit.

  • All it takes sometimes is one little sentence and a smile, right, Kathleen? Thank you for sharing!

  • Hi Amy:

    “Noble Burden” is such an allegorical name it makes me want to know if “Lead Me Home” is an allegory much like “Pilgrim’s Progress”.

    I see little churches, indeed all churches, as ‘corporate persons’ –each as different as each human being is different and yet each as alike as makes humanity one species. When churches die it is far more over human disputes and petty jealousies than theological differences.

    Churches are made by man for man. God asks just this:

    “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20

    When many shop churches on their Sunday visits, it is not to find the right God but to find the right people.

    God is found within us and not in beauty or in quiet places. It’s just that beauty, the sublime, and the quiet interiors of the soul, focus our attention deep within where God provides our foundation.

    I’d love to read your book but I will have to wait for an eBook version so I can make the type large enough to read without strain. I hope you have an eBook version soon.

    Vince

    • elaineadmin

      Hi, Vince. I’m so glad you’re becoming a regular here because I really enjoy your company 🙂

      You’ve touched upon many good and interesting insights and I wonder what Amy will say. My husband and I have “church hopped” for years, but have found a church last year that we now call home–and that’s what it feels like for us: comfortable. In the beginning of our 33 years of marriage we “hopped” probably more out of not blending too well with the other attendees. Maybe it was them; maybe us. Probably both. The past few years we definitely “hopped” as church ideology have severely altered. I’m not casting stones here. Rather, those churches didn’t work for us. We’re just so grateful to have found–actually, we feel as if we were led to–this small, rural church.

    • Hi Vince! Good question–I didn’t purposefully choose Noble’s name, but you’re not the first person to compare it to Pilgrim’s Progress, so maybe I did subliminally! 🙂 “Noble” is actually the name of one of my great, great uncles, one of seven brothers who grew up farming and always inspired me. And I really enjoyed your perspectives on the Church as not just buildings, but the Body of Christ. It’s so nice there are so many different kinds of churches for all the different styles of worship and people.

  • I’ll share this with Beyond the Borders, where the international members of ACFW. I know they’ll appreciate the question, what unlikely place have you seen or heard from God lately? It’s a wonderful question!

    • elaineadmin

      A fond hello, Sara. Thanks for visiting, and thanks for sharing with Beyond the Borders!

      Lately, or maybe I should say always, I hear Him in the most unexpected places and especially, the most unexpected times… and maybe He plans it that way for impact?

  • Thank you for sharing, Sara, and for visiting. I love God’s unexpected whispers!

  • My third child was a c-section baby. I already had a 3 year old and an 18 month old child. My church family prepared suppers for 6 weeks! This was just one instance of showing their love for my family.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  • Ahhh! Yes! I remember fondly those postpartum meals from precious church friends. Thank you for sharing, Beckie!

  • Patty

    I grew up in a small town church . One thing I loved about it was seeing the generations of families grow up. I don’t live in the area anymore , but get to go back and visit every once in a while . It still feels like home .

  • Hi Amy, after home schooling three sons for more than 20 years and having a house full 24/7, I have still
    not completely adjusted to the quietness. And my youngest has been out of the nest for seven years!

    I often have the radio going, but realize it’s important to have times of quiet to listen for God’s voice.
    I had a moment of clarity about the wonder in which I was created while exercising the other day. Just that sense
    of how truly wonderful it was to be alive and moving and that God had made me!

    Thanks for sharing. And thank you, Elaine, for another thoughtful post!

  • elaineadmin

    February–a winter month when spring still seems a bit far off–is a great time for reflection. I’m so thankful that my guest, author Amy K. Sorrells, joined us this week to give our thoughts direction of where to go and what to think of… guiding us to a place that our hearts should always focus on. Amy, it’s been a blessing to host you this past week.

    Also, thanks for the Giveaway of your upcoming release of LEAD ME HOME. The winner of Amy’s ARC is…

    Patty!! Congratulations, Patty. Both Amy and I will contact you via direct emails.

    Blessings to all.

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