Category Archives: Religious Fiction

Breathtaking Review of “The Light in the Darkness” by Peter Younghusband

What follows is one of the most beautifully written and thoughtful reviews I have ever had. Peter Younghusband, of Australia,  is one of the best reviewers I’ve had the pleasure to meet and to have review my work. He fully appreciates and understands how this God-inspired work will hopefully inspire others to seek Him. I gladly proclaim Peter as a brother in Christ.

Enjoy,

Brilliant, Powerful, Epic, Divinely Inspired! It is definitely the most spirit-filled novel I have ever Read! Highly Impressive!

This sequel has been highly anticipated and I am so glad has finally here! It was such a joy to read Bruecke to Heaven again in preparation for this. I would suggest anyone do this as this second novel follows so well from the previous. After its cliffhanger ending, you are instantly immersed in the continuing events of the Tron family and other characters.

If any reader considers that Julia, Rebecca, Peter, Marik, Berg, Arktos, Jacob, Anna, Jean Paul, Albert, have been through enough, well, Tron does not let them off lightly in this novel. In fact, everything is upped and intensified. The darkness of the demonic forces is wrapped around them tighter than in the previous novel and they are further challenged in their faith and relationship with God. But God is faithful and they are strengthened by God’s intervention in direct and indirect ways. Their bruecke (bridge) to heaven remains intact and is even strengthened further.

Tron sets up five plots arcs running concurrently. There is Arktos, Peter, Marik, Berg, Galack, Jakob and Anna on one quest, while Jean Paul and Albert on another. Julia, her daughters and the rest of the Vaudois community are still surviving in the upper levels of the mountains deciding to train and send out evangelists with the Word. We have Dabria and Lucier on their spiritual quest and later in the novel, Lucier is mandated to continue on his own then we have a new character, a hermit and his she-wolf, Lukos, tending to the physical and spiritual needs of a character from the first novel that readers will have to guess his identity until this is revealed later in the novel. This plagued me until I worked it out and was pleasantly surprised!. All these plot arcs deepen the mystery and suspense, action and adventure and totally absorb you. In each of the arcs, you wonder what is going to happen next. You become more endeared to these characters and share their emotions with them as if you are there.

Speaking of Lukos, the she-wolf, Tron has her as a side plot and if read just on its own, he proves himself as a competent author of animal fiction. This was one of the many highlights of this novel. I loved Lukos and the relationship she had with her master, the hermit, and as the novel progressed, with the one that the hermit was healing back to health. Lukos plays an important role throughout this novel and she becomes just another of the many characters that you become endeared to. Tron has developed this animal and her recognition of the spiritual and human realm very well without coming across as if Lukos is more than an animal.

This novel is so much more infused with spiritual aspects and the Spirit of God than the previous. When I read of the spiritual warfare that Tron portrays here, it is surreal in the sense that we do not experience it in real life to this extent but it does show that it is attainable and available to us now as it has always been. Tron simply shows that it is due to having a pure heart towards God, in submission and trust in Him alone. But more importantly, through the Tron family characters, namely Arktos, Jakob, Jean Paul, Tron shows such a simple and proven way to do this and that is to live out our faith, exercise it if you will. It is just as the Word says,

“22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. [James 1:22-25 New King James Version (NKJV)]”

Another aspect that Tron shows in this spiritual warfare is that these same characters do not rely on their own strength but on God and God alone, and He responds not just by His power, but by His Spirit in many signs and wonders and the infilling and flow of His Presence and Power when they are in prayer, seeking His guidance and direction or when involved in attacks from the many forms of the demonic. Another aspect that supports this is when Arktos admits that he has placed all his hope in an artefact (glowing stone) infused with spiritual power and is surprised when God does not use it when Arktos commands the stone to express its power upon his command.

“He continued to pray something would change or at least give them a sign, for he had put all his hopes on this stone providing them with the power to slay as many of the Viscount’s guard as possible, yet nothing happened.
It was then, as the last thought had passed, like a cloud overhead, when he realised his error.
Puting his hopes in the stone…..and not God.
He had once again been putting his faith in something other than God the Father. He asked for forgiveness, knowing too well the scriptures that warned of such foolishness, the multitudes who awaited Moses descent from the mount were proof of that.”

And once he had accepted God’s forgiveness, God acted on Arktos’s plan and delivered them from their adversary.

Tron delivers this with enough action and adventure, suspense and thrills while being extremely entertaining and does not detract from the lessons of spiritual warfare he wants to deliver in this narrative. I pray that readers will not compartmentalize these, leaving them in the confines of this novel and character traits but realise that this is how we need to be living.

When I look at the various forms of the demonic that the various members of the Tron family were confronted with, it all boils down to this same factor mentioned above, being submitted to God, trusting in Him and obedient to His Word, practising a lifestyle of prayer, being doers of the Word by living out their faith and applying the principles that God has structured the Bible in how to live. And yet there are specific principles used for each to defeat this evil and its perpetrators throughout this novel and its predecessor such as:

-quoting specific Bible (verses) appropriate to the situation at hand,
-putting on the Armour of God (Ephesians 6: 10-20),
-singing songs based on the Psalms and others while under the Anointing of the Spirit (as Jakob did),
-playing musical instruments (again as Jakob did with the Lyra while under the anointing of the Spirit).
-walking in the Spirit. Physically as well as spiritually. Many examples of this through Jakob, Arktos, Jean Paul, Lucier. However, the most noted are Jakob and Arktos. They both had overcome their human frailty, their fears and looked past their physical senses. They acted solely in total obedience to God’s prompting and guidance.

Tron is very competent at describing and showing what this demonic looks like as the reader experiences all the evilness that accompanies it. His description is not short, shallow or implied. It is in your face, and explicit. It is shown through Shamus, and Pope Lucius III, the former being possessed by the spirit of a fallen angel, Semyaza, while the latter is oppressed by the demonic and fueled by his own greed and pride.

Shining through all this as well as its predecessor is the Sovereignty of God. Tron is encouraging us to consider this in every aspect of our lives as we live out His Word. God is Sovereign and any outcome is His if we are living according to His precepts and direction and are in His will. He has everything under control despite our wavering faith, sense of hopelessness, or our finite vision (not physical only) that is incapable of seeing the whole picture of our circumstances and its future. Just as in our lives, God will not leave nor forsake us and when He gives us a quest, mission or task, He will not allow the enemy to thwart our attempts. Tron has portrayed this truth almost as if all these Biblical principles are fabricated as part of a purely fantasy novel.

After reading both novels this is the impressions I have experienced:

-I have been entertained immensely,

-My faith and relationship with God has been strengthened and uplifted,

-Tron has not deviated from established Biblical doctrine, and his content will not, lead a non-believer astray or promote false doctrine,

-He writing and content honours God and portrays God as He is from the many character traits outlined in the Bible (Deliverer, Provider, Redeemer, Sovereign, Healer, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscience, Warrior, Conqueror,

-His writing does not encourage worship of the created (eg angels, man, animals) but of the Creator (God) instead.

-it promotes the power and practice of prayer as a lifestyle and to an unadulterated relationship with God

Christians know the power of the Word and of the Spirit in transforming the spirit of unregenerate man. Tron shows this very powerfully in the conversion of Lucier. It is one of the most descriptive conversions I have read for a while. Then seeing him have a heart after God reminds me very much of the Psalmist, David, including Lucier’s Godly remorse at his adultery and how he dealt with this spiritually. His remorse is tender, sincere, heartfelt and it is tangible as you read it. It is not directed at himself but at God and it reminded me so much like David the Psalmist felt when he wrote to God in Psalm 51:4,

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight”

It struck me as how it should be and needs to be whenever a Christian falls into sin, no matter what type.

Julia’s reaction to Lucier’s confession is just as tender, sincere and heartfelt. Both of their reactions to this sin is devoid of any of the usual human emotions we experience today that can become stumbling blocks to being restored to God. But then again, this situation described by Tron shows the work of the Spirit in the hearts and minds of these two and their submission and obedience to Him.

I have not singled out this situation as the only time such reactions towards human shortcomings and sin are in these novels. It is an example that shows how we can have such a humble, tender, submitted and pure relationship with God when we fall to sin or allow our humanness to take over. It is described by Tron as not idealistic or unrealistic. It resonated with me and was very relatable. And so it should be to all who read this novel.

Once this novel took off after the first chapter, I was totally absorbed and on the edge of my seat, figuratively speaking, and I was exhausted many times throughout. Despite the frustration of having to stop reading to either return from lunch or to and from work, this was a blessing as it gave me time to reflect on the spiritual side of the many topics that uplifted me, encouraged me to know Jesus better and to have a tender heart towards Him. I must confess, the relationship Tron described between the Vaudois characters towards each other and them towards God, convicted me and I found myself having some conversations with God regarding this.

There is definitely the power and presence of God in this novel. I said similar in my review of Bruecke to Heaven:

“I knew when I read the description of this book that I would be blessed and that this book is unique and special. This book has not let me down. I finished this speechless due to being in awe of everything related to it. Truly, this book is inspired by God and many times, I could feel His presence with me. I have had that with only a few books. I will never forget this book. It really does have a profound effect on how you see God and how you have experienced Him. It has made me want more of Him and a desire to increase my faith and always be in His will.”

I can apply the same here in this novel.

When I finished this novel, I posted this on Facebook and Goodreads,

“Words cannot express how brilliant, how powerful, how epic, how divinely inspired this novel is! It is definitely the most spirit-filled novel I have ever read.”

I said that the first novel, Bruecke to Heaven, was special and unique, but now this novel takes it to the next level and this series is so unique, so special, it has impacted me like no other novel! Spiritually uplifting like no other Christian novel has!

This is one highly impressive novel. But then if it reflects the power of God, His Word and the character of God, then we can expect nothing less!

Truly, an unforgettable novel and one that has impacted me like no other, together with its predecessor, Bruecke to Heaven.

Highly recommended.

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“The Light in the Darkness” finally reaches the light of day.

It began back in 2013 and but was put on hold when we answered the Call to serve. This past week, the Lord placed it upon my heart to reopen the old friend and revisit those within. Once the cover was cracked, there was no turning back.

Needless to say, there have been many positive changes to the publishing world since my last venture. So much so, that now I feel comfortable using Amazon KDP. The tireless ordeal of writing literary agents and publishers is just outside my available time as a High School teacher, so for now, this will have to do.

In the next few days, both the E-book ($4.99) and a Paperback version will be available through Amazon.

This work was more than twice the size of the first book. My beta readers found the story line twice as compelling. Overall, the paperback will be 702 pages, for $19.95, which should be twice the savings. Hopefully by now, you guessed it, I hope you find it twice as good.

The release date shows March, but as soon as I get the reference information loaded, it should be available later this week.

Please let me know what you think. Most of all, I hope you find yourself seeking the Word of God, and hopefully your walk with Him will become closer after reading the story within.

Lux Lucet in Tenebris, The Light Shines in the Darkness

Here is the link to the E-book.

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I Am With You Always…

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”-Matthew 28:19-20

 

Arktos sat on the expanse of stone, his balcony to the world that opened below. High on the mountain range above the Germanesca Valley, he sat watching the clouds gather in the depths of the void below. The air blew steadily up here. He closed his eyes and tilted his face toward heavens. The warmth of the sun caressed his aged face, blending the deep ravines of time into one of wisdom. His long gray hair, speckled with white wafted against his shoulders. The white beard gave him an air of intellect. Beneath it, his tanned skin, taut against his chiseled chin, gave the look of, “You will pay if you cross me,” which belied his true gentle nature; the tender heart beneath the façade of an ancient warrior. This was his place of repose, his solitary corner of earth where he could commune with God. To obtain this height, one must have the strength of a bear and the agility of the mountain goat.  Up here, the world below seemed so distant, so unimportant compared with what lay ahead.

Here there was no sound of humanity. There was nothing but the sound of the distant waterfalls cascading into the abyss below. Their voices echoed off the granite walls of God’s fortress of granite that surrounded him.

He was lost in thought, one with the Father as the words came to mind, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”-Phil. 4:7

As life and time march onward, the realization of himself becoming the one that others looked to for guidance bothered him. True, he studied the Word relentlessly, but he never seemed to rise above who he saw in those crystal-clear pools from which he supped his handfuls of water. There beyond those sky-blue eyes, was the same man he had seen for all his life. Much of the world around him had changed, loved ones had gone on, and now, he was nearly alone save for the few that were left.

Earlier that morning, he and the others had met once more to study and worship. There was no set plan, just the Word to guide them. They were the remnants of their kind. Many had been lost; as many had perished from the mountain as had those who had died from the sword. They were the keepers of the Word, the bearers of Christ’s ministry. They had no name as of their own, but rather, were given only the name from whence they came, the Vaudois. These were the Vaudoisians, the Children of the Light, as they had also become known.

As they slowly gathered, one, then another, in that small but ancient stone building that had created so many before them, each one was welcomed with brotherly love. They were united as one centuries before, longer than even their elders could remember. The words they used to describe their beginning were simply, “Since time Immorium.” As they prepared to begin, each lit a candle or lamp from which to read. The ancient structure barely allowed the slightest amount of light to enter. While light was hard to find, in the deepest recesses of winter, the sturdy, meter-thick walls also kept the freezing cold without; thus, serving as the perfect sabbatical from the outer world during the long dark winter months. Yet, even in the early summer, as now, they met to refresh their scriptures before departing for their summer missions beyond these peaks.

Today had been especially rewarding. There was the initial joking and sharing of mental challenges, but eventually, as was usually the case, someone said something that yielded to a lesson from within the pages of that precious text, the one they had guarded with a millennium of lives. Immediately, they dove within the leaves of that ancient book seeking the trail upon which they felt obliged to follow. Their questions led to further searches, all following a path only their Lord would know. The older students merely closed their eyes and quoted the scripture from memory, so intense was their learning.

Sitting back and watching their education come to fruition, Arktos had been blessed beyond measure. He knew in time, they would be gone, leaving for their journeys.

Many would never return.

Time after time he had seen them grow, become one with the Word, then leave to serve their commission. Those that returned had a renewed vigor that only experience and life could teach. Each time, he saw the youth that had been present in the spring of life be torn away, leaving behind the shell of reality forced upon their tender souls. Those that never came back left a hole in his heart that could never be replaced.  He felt so inadequate for what he was there to do. There was so much he needed to learn himself, so much more he could share, if only there were more time.

He returned to the present when the cry of the raptor that pulled him back. Before he opened his eyes, he whispered softly, “God give me the strength, and the wisdom to do your will until I no longer have the breath left to live another day.”

Blinking to the light of day, he tilted his head forward. There soaring upon the currents before him was a beautiful Golden Eagle. Below, them both, the sun had broken through the clouds and the expanse of meadow falling away to the sharp blue-gray edges of the valley below opened up. The view was breathtaking, as the wild bird was in its grandeur; man and beast as one, above the spectacle of creation only few can imagine. The old man felt the presence of God as the bird remained in place, gliding along with little to no effort. Its piercing eyes sought him, and from within he could feel a voice resonate through his soul.

You are not alone, for I am with you always, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Arktos could not move. He tried to nod in agreement, but nothing would work; his head could not shake, his fingers could not even curl to feel the stone beneath where he sat. He was spellbound by those penetrating eyes and the omnipotent voice within.

Another searing cry from the eagle echoed off the nearby snow-covered peak, and immediately, the roar of the waterfalls returned. He blinked, and the beautiful bird was gone.

Had he dreamt the scene?

Had it been just another vision?

He reached for his weathered walking stick to prepare for the journey back down the mountain when he noticed it. There beneath its handle lay the reminder of the moment; a tail feather from a Golden Eagle.

He smiled, as he tucked away the keepsake into his backpack, and begin his slow descent into the world that awaited below.

He had nearly disappeared from that summit when the call of the great eagle echoed from a distant valley, and he smiled once more, for God was with him. Yes, God would be with him always.

Thanks be to God.

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An Unforgettable Sunrise…

“…whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. – James 4:14

We can no more know what will be in 20 years than we can know what tomorrow will bring; it is like being able to see what is not visible. We ourselves are like the mist, as scriptures tell us, “Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Will my body be capable of traversing what my mind’s eye can see? Will there be the breath of life left within my soul? All of these things and more cannot be answered, nor should they. Our faith should sustain us through all that is, and all that will be to come.

One may project themselves mentally into that point beyond their horizon, that which tells of a distant time and place which none can know. From that place, they may reflect back upon all that might have transpired. From such appointed place we may see with more clarity what we should find of value; of meaning; of purpose. We can take away from our reflection in that distant horizon such  that, when our life’s journey has come to fruition, we all would like to say with assurance, “We have run the race well.”

To run that race well, there are a few moments which I hope to find, which many may find as their own: to see my children grow into adulthood, to see them become parents with successful careers; to hold that first grandchild in my arms; to see the end of a successful career of teaching; to see my wife and I gracefully grow old together; to see with mine own eyes, the bridge at Salbertrand; to see the sunrise from the top of the Chisone Valley as did those brave men on their march through the Glorious Return; and lastly, but not least of all, to lead others to Christ through the blessings God has bestowed upon me. These are but a few of all that I hope to find on that day, so far from now.

Yet, in the blink of an eye, it will be here.

Time is a precious commodity none of us can take for granted.

The bridge between now and the end of our time here on earth grows shorter with each passing day. We are aliens upon this earth, put here by our creator, and when we pass, we move on to the place He hath created for us; a home eternal. What we do with the time we have left is as much our choosing as is our choice of deciding if we want to live beyond this life, through the salvation Christ has given to all, should they choose.

When we stand on that future mountain top and look back, one should hope to see how they have lifted up others in their wake, being as Christ-like as possible. To become the light is all we should seek.

To get there from here, we must take one step at a time. Each new footprint, insignificant as each one may seem, leads us to the eventual destination if we can remain focused. In our hearts, we know the words, “Yeah though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff comfort me…” All around us, the dark peaks of struggle are pitched against us. The fog of doubt and uncertainty shroud our way. Yet, we push onward, one step at a time. We must not look back when the sorrows pull us down. We cannot relive what has gone on before us. We cannot return the dead to the living; we must push onward.

Closing my eyes, I drift off to that future time and place.

From that distant vantage point, my breath is labored. The height at which we have achieved to gain this point is substantial in altitude. The air is thin up here. In my mind, I’m standing upon the highland overlooking the Chisone Valley; the year is 1689. Darkness is before me, it is night. Behind me, I can hear men struggling up the side trying to reach the summit. We are nearest to Him on this imagined peak. What we left behind to obtain our position is a haunting reminder of how our lives have been shaped by perseverance. Like Arnaud, his men having fought past the bridge at Salbertrand, seeing the miracle of 600 men routing over 2,500, they are now the survivors of the ten days of forced march. They have avoided the main roads, taking the goat paths and cliff faces in their march. They have fought through one village after another. After this late day battle, they are now struggling through the night to reach the summit. Exhausted, they will fall asleep almost before their heads hit the ground. Arnaud stays awake well past what his body will allow making sure the few sentries he has posted remain awake. He doesn’t know I’m here, but together we watch as the coming dawn begins to lighten the eastern sky.

With trepidation, we await, as the sound of men scattered about us sleep in fitful slumber. The wounded moan as they turn to find comfort upon the hard ground; there is little to relieve their pain. The campfire is nearly gone, its embers glowing red, like the horizon that begins to hint of the coming day.

As the dawn broke before them on that glorious morning, the sunlight filtered into their homeland, those ancient valleys of granite and raging torrents. Their faith was at a zenith, they knew this was not the end. Before them lay the unknown. God had surely delivered them to this point for a reason. Yes, they had made it. Yet, the battle to reclaim their valleys had only begun. The dead that they had left behind, now almost half their number, cannot be forgotten; yet, they must not allow the darkness to consume their fate. Before them, the mountain falls away, revealing the Chisone. Some are eager to get down below; family homesteads occupied by the enemy burn in their minds. Liberation of their own farms begins to overwhelm them, but their leader, Pastor Arnaud, recognizes this inner strife and calms them once more with prayer.

Men, let us bow our heads, ..God, your hand has been upon us each and every step of the way. We thank you for all that you have given us to this day, but Lord, you know better than we, that if it is your will, this place which you hath prepared for us in the beginning, will once more be returned to us again. We ask for the forgiveness of our sins, for taking another man’s life is something we do not dismiss easily from our hearts, but at the same time, we ask that you forgive those that seek to destroy us. For all we do, we do in servitude in our Holy name. For we thank you, God the Father, and ask that you continue to watch over us as we go forth, so that we may be allowed to restore the faith, truth, and the light back to the valleys from whence we hath come. Thank you for your son Jesus Christ, who died, was buried, and rose on the third day. His blood was shed for our sins, so that we may have life eternal. In all these things, we thank you, in God’s Holy Name,…Amen.”

Painfully, Arnaud and his men arose and began the ascent into the dark valley of the Chisone below to reclaim their homeland. There, hiding in their own homes, churches, and villages, the enemy awaited.

Painfully, in that distant time, we will continue on in our ascent into that dark valley below where the enemy awaits; Satan. There, hiding in our own homes, churches, and villages, he awaits our every move.

We must do all that we can to bring them back to the faith of our ancestors, to bring them the salvation for which they were once freely given.

Each faces an uncertain future.

Each knows from whence they came.

Each knows that the going forward will not be easy. Time is against us all, no matter when we face it, but with our faith, we can find our way is not alone. “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us,” and in that, we can face tomorrow.

We know not what tomorrow may bring, but with faith, we can face tomorrow.

In all that we do, let us serve Him, and to never forget,

Thanks be to God.

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Review of “Bruecke to Heaven” by Peter Younghusband of the Christian Fiction Review out of Australia

Bruecke To Heaven: Children of the Light by Timothy Tron

Bruecke to Heaven: Children of the Light

When two of Jesus’ seventy disciples are sent into the wilderness, they find themselves in a remote Alpine valley delivering the Word of God to an ancient people. A miraculous event occurs and they realize they are not only to give them the Word, but the abilities and gifts that go with it; one of which becomes memorization. Centuries later, when the people of the valley are asked to leave their homelands because of their known gift, their memorization of the entire Bible, a journey and adventure like none other begins. They quickly learn they had been imbued with more than just one ability, and soon, their bridge to Heaven becomes a race for their lives.

The Guru’s Review:

I knew when I read the description for this book that I would be blessed and that this book is unique and special. This book has not let me down. I finished this speechless due to being in awe of everything related to it. Truly, this book is inspired by God and many times, I could feel His presence with me. I have had that with only a few books. I will never forget this book. It really does have a profound effect on how you see God and how you have experienced Him. It has made me want more of Him and a desire to increase my faith and always be in His will.
This is the first book I have read from Timothy Tron and it won’t be the last, if of course, he choses to write more after the coming sequel, which is in the works at the moment. His writing style, command of the English language and imagination transport you to the 1100s AD, set in both the alpine area of France and also in Lyon. You are more than a spectator in this novel, you are there with all the characters as if you are part of the plot. I found it difficult coming back to reality every time I stopped reading. His characters are all very relational and three dimensional, well developed and believable whether they are protagonists or antagonists.Tron has created some very admirable and loveable characters in the protagonists, Arktos, elder of the Vaudois people, Jakob his grandson, Peter Waldo (real name Augustus Pizan but uses the name of Peter Waldo who existed years before him), Marik and Steffan who seek out the Apostle Speakers (the Vaudoisians who have been imbued with the gift of memorization of the entire Scriptures), Gabriel (Waldo’s right hand man and whom you are forever thinking is he really the angel Gabriel or not?), Jean Paul, Jakob’s older brother, Julia, Jakob and Jean Paul’s mother. There is an emotional investment in these characters as you read. Everything they go through you feel it with them, joy, grief, horror, sadness, stubborn faith, righteous indignation, victorious elation.

The same goes for the antagonists, the main two being General Lucier and Pope Lucias III. These two embody the evilness and corruptness of the Roman Catholic Church, both are power hungry, corrupt, manipulative and deceitful and deluded into thinking that they are doing the will of God by persecuting and eradicating anyone who defies the teachings of the Catholic Church. Both have no issue with murder, torture or persecution to achieve their aims: recant your faith and convert to Catholicism or die. You feel their hatred towards the Vaudosians, you recoil in horror at their persecution of those who defy them, and the methods of killing they employ, you can feel the evil oppression they exude, yet you feel pity for them for them when you see this evilness taking them over and blinding them from the Truth that is so ever before them.

Here is what Lucias considers of himself:

.…..for I am the embodiment of heaven on earth, and if it is my will, it shall be done!

He sees and hates the Vaudoisians and their gift as a threat to his papacy:

Yet, there it was: the fact that they had preserved the Word of God of their own accord-a Word not compiled by mankind, but that was given to them reportedly from the sources themselves. What would it do to the power of the papacy should it become known? or worse yet, what if the unknown Word produced an entirely different view of the hereafter or the road to perdition?…..

Then there was the other, more-distressing side note: the fact that the books these people quoted were exactly as they had received them, unfiltered and encompassing all of the writing and teachings that followed the ministry of Jesus and his disciples. This Word they possessed gave a power that bound them to one ruler, but a ruler who was not of this earth. That in of itself sent a shiver of terror down the papal spine, causing him to shudder at the thought.

Tron’s research into this era, Vaudois people, the aforementioned corruptness of the Catholic Church and their politics add depth and credibility to the story. It is hard to believe that this is a novel and not the account of actual events as they happened, including the supernatural intervention of God in various ways as described that is just not commonplace in today’s world.

I can see Tron’s passion throughout as it is loosely based on his family genealogy from his paternal side. When I read this on his author page on Amazon, I was further intrigued, and contacted him about this. He sent me an account of his discovery and it is very captivating.
Here it is, in part:
In 1995, my late Aunt June Tron gave us a one-of-a-kind housewarming gift; a genealogy binder including information about the town in Germany from whence we came along with our pedigree, all the way back to the founding father’s of the little town, Walldorf Germany.
In 1998, we decided to take a trip to Germany………We pulled up in front of the Heimat Museum……..That was the next phase of my research as I began drinking from the proverbial fire hydrant of knowledge. I found that Tron’s had existed as part of the Waldensians from the beginning and I then began to learn what it meant to be Waldensian. The people from the valleys had migrated to Germany in 1699 and built Walldorf from scratch. Two of the original families were my direct ancestors. The rest of the link and how they go back in time genealogically can be explained at a later time; suffice it to say, its a long, long tale.
The story and the tale of which you are reading are closely intertwined, but what made me begin writing the book was the conflict of how they received their iconic name versus how they actually became who they were; meaning, Peter Waldo did not cause Waldensians to exist, rather, he became famous because of who the Waldnesian people already were; thus, the impetus for starting to tell our side of the story. The more I thought about it, the more I questioned, “Why would these people struggle for over 600 years, fight in over 30 wars and face extinction of their kind all because of what they believed.” Then I realized I had to tell the story from the perspective of “BEING” Waldensian. There had been many books written about Waldensians and their struggles, but none had been written from the point of view of what it was to be Waldensian and how that fact formulated who you were and how you faced adversity.
What Timothy means about “Being” Waldensian is very aptly described and forms one of the main backbones of this novel. Peter Waldo, actually existed and the term Waldensian is based on his name.
I wondered about the name of the novel, what did Bruecke mean (bridge) and why have a German word in an English title? It was this strange looking title that drew me to this book in the first place. Timothy explains again:

Intime, the meaning of some of what I have put down becomes clear; and so it was with the title, “Bruecke to Heaven”. Initially, my timeline was going to extend through their migration to Germany, thus I decided to include that influence in the title. But later, when it became apparent that my 600 year timeline would only progress only about a year and a half in the first book, I questioned if I really should keep that working title. I felt compelled to keep the title foreign in language, but didn’t know why. Recently, I was driving to work and was listening to a song on the radio when it hit me why the title fits. People who are not Christians, come into Christianity not knowing anything about it and with time, learn how and what it is to become a Christian. Then, like the obscure title, they realize the meaning and eventually accept Christ into their life, and as such, the title becomes clear.
I also questioned Timothy about the surname of Arktos, the main character, which was LeTron. Was this the original surname of his ancestry? Timothy had this covered too:
Like the title, I didn’t realize why I felt compelled to use a form of my family name for the characters in the book either, but something said to me that it was important to do so. Last year, while attending a Waldensian Festival in Valdese NC., I learned from a young man who was from the Alpine valleys where the Waldnesians came, was there doing research and he explained to me what my name actually meant in the ancient language of the valleys; Tron meant “One with Strength” and that they often gave their warriors this title. Needless to say, I was once again blown away. Even though my book was already in print by then, I felt good about keeping the form of the name intact and that indeed it was an important part of the actual history.
Interestingly, Tron has portrayed the LeTron family (Julia, Mary, Arktos, Jakob, Jean Paul, Rebecca and Angela) as a very strong family by nature and by faith without knowing what his name meant.
Faith is a strong feature in this novel. How I now long to have the faith of Arktos and Jakob! The author portrays the Vaudoisians living the Word so vividly and naturally, it is literally their first nature. And in this novel, these two and the Vaudoisians know no different as their ancestors have lived this way since two of the seventy disciples (Olympas and Herodian) delivered the Word of God to them. At this delivery, God imbues them with the ability to remember and quote the entire Word/Bible. So for generations over the centuries, until the time of the Crusades where this story is set, this closely knit community, almost cut off from the secular world, live and act out the Word; for them it is a tangible experience, the Word being literally alive. Tron even mentions this in his Introduction: Author’s Notes:

It had been memorized word for word and passed down from one generation to the next, preserving not only the mere lines of Scripture but the ultimate spiritual power it possessed in its infancy. Regarding this “Word,” the Bible reads in John 1:1-5,

In the beginning was the Word,and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was with God in the beginning.All things were created through Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created.Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.

Yet in truth, there were some who did not recognize the Word and the light, and this is their story.

The spiritual warfare aspects of this novel are very unique and different from any I have read in other biblical supernatural thrillers. In all the instances portrayed in the novel we see the power of the Word manifested though either chanting or singing Scripture: Arktos and his elders chanting Scripture as the papal army invade their village of Rora and the papal army is destroyed and at the end of the novel, Arktos chants Scripture when the papal army is about to capture them, defeating them. Jakob discovers that when he sings Scripture, the same happens; when he plays the lira the power of God either defeats their enemy or confuses them, in one instances him playing this lira disguises their compound as empty as the papal army invades and search it even when Arktos, Jacob, Peter, Gabriel and their staff are still present in the compound, another where the group he was in passes by in a mist, unheard of by the papal army, as they moved close by them on their journey homeward bound. I know these occurrences are due to the other gifts imbued by God when He delivered the Word via the disciples, but it does make me consider how it would be if Christians were able to do the same in the reality of our world in this 21st century?All in all, this is one very memorable novel that has had a profound affect on me. It is has encouraged and strengthened my faith and relationship with Christ, witness to my family and community, inspired and challenged me to stand up for the Gospel and have a ready defense for the same just as 1 Peter 3:15 says:

….but honor the Messiah as Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

It is one book that needs to be read again (and most likely again!).

Highly recommended.

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A Dream That Would Not End (Act VI)

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The next few weeks went by in a blur. Dimitri took certain care not to rush things, but the more he saw Kerima, the more she became attached to him, seemingly wanting to see him more frequently than he felt comfortable. He shared with her during this time the story of Christ and the salvation that he affords anyone who confesses their sins and accepts him into their life. She seemed to drink it all in, but never seeming to understand that she needed to actually take that step, that leap of faith. He knew he also had to be careful not to overstep his bounds, lest he provoke her to think of him as she had always been taught. After all, he was beginning to love her like no other and she him. They soon realized their love for one another and with this, Dimitri put his foot down, telling Kerima one late spring afternoon that the day she turned eighteen, they would marry. She nearly squealed with delight at the news, hugging his neck and giving him a deep passionate kiss. He tried to slow her down, but her youthful desire was far out pacing his careful tentative steps to do the right thing.

The closer the day came to her Birthday, the more she became elated at each visit. Dimitri would have loved to have taken her out of this slum of a home she lived, but that would have been overstepping his beliefs. He did not want to spoil anything that would make their wedding day the glorious event it was to be. Once, when they had stopped by his apartment to try on some new clothes he had bought for her while she had been back in school. She stepped out of the bathroom having just taken a shower, with only a towel wrapped around her. Dimitri was stunned at her beauty. Kerima knew in her heart that she wanted Dimitri beyond anything she had known. Yet, she wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do. With as much respect and dignity as he could afford, he asked her to please return to the bedroom and dress properly, for they didn’t want to spoil what God had made precious. This would be something else they would share together on their wedding day. It took all the strength of his faith and years of military training to manage the emotions of his physical being to tell her no, but deep inside, once he did, he was grateful for the wise decision.

She was worth waiting for, this he was certain.

He spoke with her freely now about his faith and he knew she understood the story of Christ, but she had not yet made that decision, the one that mattered most; if she would accept Christ into her heart or not. This, more than anything, made him wonder if he was making a difference at all.

“Was he doing the right thing, or was she just using him to escape her miserable life?” He would know soon enough.

So, it was with great expectation when Kerima’s eighteenth Birthday arrived; their wedding day. She dressed in her finest new clothes and matching attire along with the purple sash he had asked her to wear. Her one and only bag was packed and the few pictures of her family were stored neatly away in her belongings which she easily carried with one arm. In the other arm, she carried her pretty white leather bound Bible. She had a surprise for Dimitri, which she knew might be the icing on the cake; she would finally tell him today that she was ready to accept Jesus Christ into her life, confess her sins and become a Christian. As she walked out from her shell of a home, she could barely feel the ground beneath her feet. She had just read another chapter from Revelation, “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” She had been enthralled with the Word of God ever since Dimitri had given her the Bible. She was certain that God was smiling upon her as today she walked from the shambles of her previous life toward Dmitri’s waiting vehicle.

Kerima looked back briefly spying Mrs. Kushka peeking from beneath her frayed curtains, smiling and waving goodbye. She nodded toward her, waving with the hand that held her Bible in return. She turned to continue on and noticed the man-beast was not under his tree. “Odd,” she said to herself, but didn’t give it a second thought and continued on toward the awaiting black sedan.

[Thank for reading “A Dream That Would Not End” thus far. Due to the nature of the last Act, I ask that you contact me either via email, inbox or some other method to receive the link to the last Act. I apologize but cannot take a chance in inciting someone with extremists views. I hope you understand and Thank for your patronage. ( twtron@live.com )….-Timothy W. Tron]

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A Dream That Would Not End (Act V)

 

The car continued to speed along until it arrived at their first destination, an upscale clothing store that had recently reopened. It was one of the first in Sarajevo to rebuild and was furnished with the finest clothes Europe had to offer. Dmitri escorted Kerima inside and directed the salesmen in the dress department to help her find something suitable for this beautiful young lady. Kerima felt as if she were a princess that afternoon. She picked out a plain but elegant dress and matching head scarf. They next sped away to a fine upscale restaurant, where Dimitri spared no expense to feed her the finest food the city had to offer. She could not remember the last time she sat down at a table that was fully decked out, restaurantcomplete with dishes, table cloth and matching napkins. The waiter kept her drink glass full and was there at every beckon call for when Dimitri demanded. They talked about the lighter side of their former lives, making it easy to enjoy while they ate.

It was nearing evening when they returned to the point where they had met earlier in the day. Kerima indicated to Dimitri that this was not her home, rather she’d prefer if he could drop her off in front of her building, or what was left of it. Dimitri told the driver to carry on, which he did, soon arriving in front of her bombed out building. Dimitri was shocked to see the rubble in which this precious young woman called home. He quickly got out and came around, opening her door for her. As he rounded the back side of the car he noticed the odd character at the far end of the building. The man-beast watched him from his perch under the barren dead apple tree. Dimitri felt his skin crawl but brushed if off and opened Kerima’s door. She gracefully stepped out wearing her new dress, carrying a bag full of other clothes they had purchased on this trip. Dimitri handed her another gift package, like the one she’d opened earlier containing her new Bible. “Here, if you would, please give this to Latia. I had one for her too. If you think she might be offended, then never mind but I…,”

“I’ll be happy to give it to her,” Kerima interjected before he could finish.

“Oh, ok,” Dimitri was a bit surprised at her sudden offer.

“And Dimitri, I want to thank you for being such a gracious host. I was truly blessed today. I only hope that I didn’t bore you with my childish banter.”

“You were no such thing,” he replied instantly, “I can’t wait to see you again, if you wouldn’t mind?”

She paused, smiling sheepishly. It had been a long time since there had been anyone or even the thought of dating someone. Yet, here was a man, established in life, ready to take another step with her. She felt a little embarrassed, but then looked over his shoulder at the utter destruction in which she lived, and then her eyes saw the man-thing under the tree, glaring at them.

“Yes, definitely,” she replied. The sooner she might someday leave this place the better.

“Well then, how about sometime next week after you are out of school?”

“We are off now for a couple weeks on break, so anytime next week will be wonderful.”

“How about Monday then, same time as today?”

“Yes, I will be looking forward to it,” she smiled.

Dimitri extended his hand to shake hers, but instead of grabbing his hand to shake it, she tip-toed up and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. He blushed, which made her giggle at the sight, which made him seem all the more attractive.

“I’ll see you then,” she said as she hurried into the bombed out shell of a building. Next door the little old lady was peeking out from beneath her tattered curtains, curious as to who was dropping of her neighbor.

“Ok, take care and remember, look up John 3:16 if you get time,” he said as she turned to go inside, “It will change your life.”

She looked back at this and smiled, “You already have, …you already have.”

[Look for Act VI to continue the story…]

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A Dream That Would Not End (Act IV)

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The next Saturday, true to his word, Dimitri pulled up at the meeting point where he said they would be. Kerima stood alone, waiting for him, dressed in the same outfit she had worn the day they met; they were her best clothes. As the long black sedan pulled up, she could sense that she was being watched, but did not turn to see by whom. She had become accustom to eyes of the deprived and how nothing was safe anymore. Yet, she prepared to go with someone who was nearly a total stranger, someone who had before, during the war, been an enemy of her people. He was a Christian and she, a Muslim. “How in the world was this going to work,” she thought to herself as the door opened and Dimitri, stepped out, grinning broadly in the bright morning sun.

“Good morning my fair lady,” he said slightly bowing as he spoke. He was dressed in a smart casual dress shirt and jacket, looking younger than the first day they had met. “I see you remembered our lunch engagement.”

“Yes sir, I did,” she replied meekly, smiling at his overt gesture of kindness. He was holding the door open for her, but looked around.

“Where is Ms. Latia,” he said with a sincere but inquisitive look on his face?

“She changed her mind,” besides, she continued, “She has a group of women she has been starting to hang out with on Saturdays. They mend clothes and talk about men in their lives. I can’t sew and I really don’t like the gossip either.”

“I see,” he replied softly. “Well then, shall we,” as he gestured toward the open door. “Sarajevo waits.”

She smiled and slid into the backseat of the car. She could see the driver looking at her in the rearview mirror. She hadn’t noticed him before. It was the same elderly gentlemen from before. He never said anything other than when he needed direction. To some degree she felt more comfortable him being there, yet then again, she felt that he was like having a chaperon along and that this was like a date from her high school days. The thought of her father escorting her in those days that seemed so long ago bothered her, so she quickly brushed it off; today was about enjoying life now, not reliving the past.

Dimitri got in, closing the door quietly and gave directions to the driver. The car pulled away and she watched as the bombed out surroundings she had come to know as home faded into the distance. It felt good to get away, even if it were for an afternoon.

They had not driven far when Dimitri pulled out a package wrapped in gold foil. “A gift for you,” he said, holding it out for her to take.

“For me,” Kerima said shyly?

“Yes,” he smiled genuinely, “Go ahead. It’s something I feel you may need.”

She took it into her lap. The gold foil reflected her smiling face. She could see herself in the reflection. Her hair was pulled back into a braid behind her head today, showing all over her beautiful face. Her lips were full, but without makeup. There was nothing like that around anymore, so what men saw was the true beauty within.

She shyly opened the pretty packaging, revealing a book with a white leather binder. She held it up and read the title, “Holy Bible,” she said out loud.whitebible

She looked at Dimitri with a questioning glance, “You know I’m Muslim, don’t you?”

“Yes,” he said with an apologetic tone, “I knew that when I picked you up the other day and I have no problem with that at all. We are both survivors of a terrible war that was due in part to our religious beliefs, yet I wanted to be open and up front with you about it. Besides,” he said with compassion, “I felt you might have not ever had the chance to read the Word of God for yourself.”

It was true; she had never read a Bible. All she knew was the hate and slander that was preached by the local Imams and political leaders against the Christians as long as she could remember. Yet, here was a man, as gentle and kind as she had ever known. His hospitality the previous trip was unwarranted, yet gentile in nature. “Even if he was a Christian, he was certainly a gentleman.” She thought to herself before responding.

“Why, thank you. It is true; I have never read the Bible. Perhaps I might find something in it that might change my mind. I’ll pray to Allah for it to be so.”

“That is good,” he said smilingly. “I’m sure God will smile upon you as you do.”

She returned this last with a slight chuckle. It was then she noticed the scar on his left cheek. The light was just right, making it stand out. She had missed it the other day; perhaps because most of the previous car ride, there and back, she had been seated on his right. Regardless, it was not a grotesque disfiguring type as many people that had survived the war wore; painful reminders of the anguish that came with surviving. It made her wonder how he might have suffered or what circumstance that caused him to be wounded.

Dimitri noticed her staring and was quick to respond, ‘Oh, don’t mind that,” he said now running his finger along its tract; obviously he could feel its route, “That’s just an old battle scar that looks worse than it really was.”

He was lying of course. He had spent months in a hospital bed after the attack on his unit. He was only a young lieutenant at the time and their position had come under mortar fire. There were only a few survivors left. Those that did live all had badges of courage to remind them of that day. The scar on his face was only a small portion of the signs that his body had to be put back together in pieces that fateful day. Following the battle, he was promoted to captain; why, he never understood other than their own captain had died in the attack. War was an odd commodity, one he never came to accept or fully understand.

Dimitri quickly turned the conversation to lighter topics and soon they were laughing and enjoying the ride as if the previous trip had never ended.

[Look for Act V to continue the story…]

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A Dream That Would Not End (Act III)

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The long black sedan pulled away, leaving them standing in the glow of the red taillights. The pair turned and walked back toward the ruins of the apartment complex that stood farther down the street. The rubble was all that was left of their homes. Like their lives, nothing could seemingly get much worse.

Kerima walked back toward the place she called home. The dwelling was barely inhabitable. It was once a two story apartment building before the war. All that remained were part of a room where she stayed, next to one complete apartment where an elderly lady lived, Mrs. Kushka. She watched out for Kerima, taking treats to her when there was enough food to eat. She was Kerima’s guardian angel. Although she had a roof, nobody had windows, so curtains were the only thing that added any privacy or shelter from the outside winds. Mrs. Kushka’s curtains had been blown and whipped so much that they were mostly shreds of faded cloth, little more. It only added to the sullen appearance of the place.

At the far end of the bombed out complex lived a man that was nothing but skin and bones. His hair was long and scraggly, having the look of not having been washed as was the rest of his body. The man looked as if he could have easily crawled out of a grave, such was his haggard appearance. He sat on the ground during the day under a dead apple tree that was on the far end corner of the building. He had spent so much time under the tree the ground was worn bare. The trunk of the tree was also void of bark from where he had continually hugged it, as if being chained to the dead wood. When he fell asleep, he curled up like a dog and slept head against his knees that would be pulled up into the fetal position. All the man wore was an old dirty burlap cloth sack. His private parts would hang out in disgusting displays of sheer destituteness of being; for the man was no longer human.

Each time Kerima would walk up the broken walkway to what use to be her front door, the man-beast would stop whatever he was doing and run to his tree, hugging it and watch her intently until she disappeared from his sight into the remains of the building.

She gave him the creeps.

Kerima made it to her little room, barely free from the elements, but covered enough to provide shelter for her to sleep, rain or snow. There was a small cook stove that had a chimney which was vented just above what was left of her ceiling, which now sagged and hung limply from the few rafters that remained above. There in the stove she burnt fragments of whatever wood she could salvage from great heaping piles of bombed out buildings in their area, which there multitudes to choose from. The UN Peace Keeping forces had left the year before and with them, the international clean-up crews had also departed. Now it was up to the local authorities and their fellow countrymen to put a country torn apart by war, back together with little or no resources to do it with.

She had been away at school when the Serbian army came through her neighborhood and apartment by apartment pulled all the inhabitants out and marched them down to the city square where they were shot and then piled in massive mounds of death and set afire. Mrs. Kushka had been away visiting her sister when they came for her husband, a retired carpenter. He along with Kerima’s family were all slaughtered that sad day. In many ways Kerima had wished she had been there with them.

After she got the fire going in the stove, she lit a small candle on the sink near her bed. She looked out through the boarded up window in the corner of the room as the light in the sky faded. “May Allah find me something better in this life,” she prayed openly as she took a small piece of bread from her pocket that she had wisely saved from their unexpected trip into town. She sat there on the edge of the tiny bed, eating the remnants of another meal and then quietly and softly tucked herself into the bed, alone; so all alone. In the hopes of a distant dream, she wondered if the Dimitri had been a dream or if she really would see him again on Saturday.

Nothing seemed for real anymore except the grim realities of life; these were all too painfully obvious.

[Look for Act IV to continue the story…]

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