Thursday, January 27, 2011

Welcome Barbour YA author Roger Bruner

Gina here: Roger is one of my ACFW-Richmond friends...and a fellow Barbour author. I'm delighted and honored to share his faith moment and his new YA release with you today.


by Barbour YA Author Roger Bruner

Abraham is such a faith hero of mine that—in 1994—I started writing a musical drama about his sacrifice of Isaac. Although I never finished Covenant Child—perhaps I lacked the faith that I could do his story justice—I did write quite a bit of dialog and some of the music (listen to Prelude). Probably the most significant piece was The Faith Song.

Faith’s acceding to God’s leading,
And it’s going without knowing;
Faith’s revering and adhering to God’s Word.
Faith is moving without proving

And agreeing without seeing;
Faith’s abiding in—not hiding from—the Lord.

Some really good thoughts, it seemed at the time. Maybe even inspired and inspiring.

And, oh so descriptive of Abraham’s situation. . .

Acceding: not arguing with God or making excuses to stay home; letting God be in charge about moving and about sacrificing Isaac

Going: heading off to a foreign land without knowing what he’d find there; also taking Isaac to be sacrificed without knowing how God would carry out His promises

Revering: letting God be God and not trying to take God’s place

Adhering: sticking to God’s plan, no matter how strange or disturbing

Moving: packing up and leaving the stability and comforts of home to go to a strange, new place

Agreeing: being willing to accept the new land as home—sight unseen; preparing to sacrifice the miracle child God said would father millions without seeing any other alternative

Abiding: living in God’s will, no matter what

But I wasn’t Abraham facing a sudden move or a disturbing sacrifice. Nothing out of the ordinary was happening in my life at that time. No special needs. No cares or problems that were out of the ordinary.

When things are going acceptably, I don’t have anything to challenge my faith. So The Faith Song became just one more song in my repertoire.

But circumstances changed drastically in 2002. Although things at work had begun going downhill—I was having trouble keeping up with, much less conquering a new assignment—I believed they would turn around. Yet I suddenly found myself downsized—laid off after almost nineteen years at the place where I’d always thought God wanted me to spend the rest of my life working. Had my work really deteriorated that much—to the point it was easy for them to decide who to lay off?

What was I supposed to do? I wasn’t old enough to retire—I was only fifty-six at the time—but I was far too worn out from trying to keep up with changes in Information Technology to remain in that field.

I had no idea what I wanted to do—much less what God wanted me to do. In the midst of my struggles, I found my faith growing—oh! is growth a painful process!—and I wrote a new faith song. One that was intensely personal.

I believe God’s working behind the scenes;
He’s helping me in ways I can’t see.
God understands all my problems;
He knows my best efforts
Are not enough to solve them.

I believe God’s working behind the scenes;
He’s retouching my faded hopes and dreams.
God always provides the things He knows I need.
I believe God’s holding me in His hands,
Assuring me I’m safe in His plans.
He banishes fear and confusion.
I know that His way is
My only true solution.
I believe God’s working behind the scenes,
Drawing from His unlimited means.
God always provides the things He knows I need.

The truths of that song helped sustain me through a long period of uncertainty, including a year of working at home for a management consultant and three years at the register of a Target store.

I didn’t know at the time of my layoff—I never would have suspected—that behind the scenes God was in the process of turning me into a published Christian novelist. A profession where all of my skills and life experiences would count. Without them—the bad as well as the good—I wouldn’t have had the background—the outlook and the insights—to do the kind of writing I do now.

Faith sustained me through the questioning times, but God—the object of my faith—was the One who brought me safely to shore at a destination I hadn’t even thought of steering towards. I’ll have to save the details of that cruise for another time.


Roger Bruner worked as a teacher, job counselor, and programmer analyst before retiring to pursue his dream of writing Christian fiction full-time. Kristi Rae Bruner lives in the Orlando area and enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, and cooking. During her teen years, she went on a life-changing mission trip to Mexico.

Book Trailer:

Found in Translation

Faith, obedience, and forgiveness intersect in a remote Mexican village.

When Kim Hartlinger—eighteen and spoiled—arrives on a mission trip to Mexico and discovers, to her chagrin, that she’ll be doing construction in a remote village without plumbing and electricity, rather than evangelism in a medium-sized town with a fast food joint . . . she has only two choices. “Rough it” (which isn’t exactly what Kim had in mind when she signed up for this trip) or turn around and head home.

Will Kim be able to touch the villagers’ hearts with the Gospel? Or will her time in Mexico be up before she gets the chance?

FOUND IN TRANSLATION can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
Blessed and Beyond Booksellers, Books-a-Million, Borders,,
Lifeway Christian Stores, Family Christian, and Mardel's.

Serious Question of the Day: Ever had an Abraham-Faith moment? How did God grow you through it?

Non-Serious Question of the Day: What song routinely gets in your ear and takes residence? (You can't answer "This is the Song that Never Ends, It goes on and on my Friend, You started singing it not knowing what it was, and now you're singing it forever just because...It's the Song that Never Ends, It goes on and on my Friend...")


  1. Welcome to the Inkwell, Roger!

    Your post today is an inspiration to me. Somedays I just don't want to get any more 'experience'. Know what I mean? It's hard to relate to Abraham sacrificing his son, but God gives us all kinds of experiences that stretch and shape us.

    Coming through them, we see the good but like losing your job...not so much.

    Those words of your second Faith Song especially resonated with me today. I'm exactly in a situation where I had to trust God, but... But, I was hoping things had turned around by now. So I just plugged in my faith and trust to see if it still works or if I've been coasting too long 'resting' in His love.

    God has provided for me through a year of job insecurity. I'm currently on unemployment and some days, like today, I'd like the security back! I think I started to operate out of my expectations rather than trust. Thank you for the reminder!

    Your book sounds wonderful, congratulations!

  2. Hi Roger, thanks for hanging out with us around the Inkwell. It seems faith is an ab-so-lute-ly essential ingredient in the life of a writer. Add that to the Christian life, and I get weary of the exercise at time. It's encouraging to know though, that there's a purpose to it all. That makes it much more bearable.

  3. Hi Roger!!! Waving to you from Virginia Beach. I've had the pleasure of hanging out with Roger several times, both in Richmond and at Blueridge.

    I definitely need this post today. I think I should print this one out and hang it on my mirror or something.

    So excited about your book. It sounds wonderful.

  4. Roger, congratulations on the book. It sounds great. I agree when things are going great, sometimes we for get to look for God, so as hard as they are, those tough times can be spiritually rewarding. I love your poetry.

    I have always, always been in awe of Abraham's incredible faith and obedience. I can't imagine what that experience was like for him.

    Thanks for the great post, Roger.

  5. Hi, Roger! Welcome to Inkwell and thank you for the opportunity to share your book with our followers.

    Great post too! Husband and I were talking last night about a situation that, well, we realized there is no easy solution. Oh, we could step up and say "pick me," but that doesn't give God the opportunity to solve the problem His way and in His timing. So in the meantime, while we wait and trust, we continue to do the daily tasks God has called us to.

    Somedays it's easy.

    Somedays it's not.

  6. Thanks Roger! I love how you trusted in the Lord when the circumstances seemed so unfavorable. You found the favor in them. Remarkable stuff. I want to be like that too.

    Prayers for everyone in that place right now.

    Thanks Gina! Father Abraham has many sons, many sons has father Abraham...

  7. Thanks for visiting the Inkwell today, Roger. What a timely post for me. I love how you broke down Abraham's response, acceeding...going...I need to jot these down so I can prayerfully note where I'm not following this example very well.

    Being married to a pastor, I've had to go when God says go, even when it hurts or I have no clue where I'm supposed to go. But God has always been faithful.

    Cheryl, now I have *that* song in my head! "Right foot, left foot, Father Abraham..."

    But sometimes my husband and I will try to get Abba songs stuck in each other's heads (my eyebrow is arched and I'm laughing maniacally.)

  8. Welcome, Roger. (waving at Kristi Rae)

    I really like your music samples. Prelude reminded me of my hubby and son when they lead worship with the Revelation song... they start slow but speed up as they go along. LOL Your music is very pleasing to the ear.

    This sounds like a fascinating book. My 20 yr old daughter has been on mission trips to Scotland and Trinidad and Tobago. And my 15 yr old son went to Australia last summer. This year, he's heading out to S. Africa.

    I wish your book wasn't labeled 'for girls' because I know my son would derive great pleasure from reading it. Unlike his father who reads romances, however, Nick won't touch a book with just a girl on the cover. Hopefully that will come with maturity.

    Thanks for joining us today.

    Anita Mae.

  9. Susie D! Shame, shame on you! Now I've got Dancing Queen stuck in my head! Did I ever tell you I once had a coworker who played that song endlessly over and over and over and I never ever want to hear it again? But now, NOW, it's stuck in my head again. Thanks a lot. If I can't sleep tonight, I'm calling you!


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