Mercy’s Kiss

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If we needed proof that a Curse has truly fallen upon ourselves and the land, we need only look to Genesis 5 through 7 to see all the ugly and mounting repercussions.

Adam’s curse is a land that yields thorns alongside its fruit.

Cain’s curse is a land that yields nothing.

Did we try to break the curse? It’s difficult to say. Those curious verses at the start of Genesis 6, referencing the Nephilim – the “heroes of old” – perhaps there was some hope on the part of mankind that brute strength could overcome the desolation. Unyielding land? Breed stronger men. Difficulty in childbirth? Mortality? Perhaps a new race will provide the answer.

Regardless, when God looks over the cursed land, waiting for his creation to turn to True Love for the answer, He finds instead that there is only evil, all the time.

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Wait for it…

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Ah, Genesis 3. If ever there was a chapter in the Bible that whispered to all our fairy-tale longings for The One True Story, it is this one.

While still unfallen, the first man and woman desire wisdom, to peer into the unknown and understand mystery, and in their desire they over-reach and we are all cursed.

It strikes me today that the “forbidden fruit” was not some sensual pleasure, as that term has come to be understood. The forbidden fruit was knowledge, unlawfully gained. (I say unlawfully, because they desired wisdom, and James tells us that God gives it liberally – it doesn’t have to be stolen.)

So they reach and they eat, hoping for a greater understanding. And what is the very first thing they understand with their newly-opened eyes? That they are naked. Utterly, terribly vulnerable.

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Living the Day Backwards…

I’ve just started the Essential 100 Bible Reading Plan this week, and already Genesis 1 has my wheels turning!

Something has always confused me about this creation chapter and the subsequent Jewish practice – the way the Day is considered as beginning at sunset.  It seems so backwards, doesn’t it?  We’re completely ingrained with morning as the start of the day.  How did they think of it in reverse? When the sun came up, how could it feel like the end of the day?

I still don’t have the answer to that question, but something flashed across my thoughts this morning as I read Genesis 1…

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Where it all began…

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My “official” bio that floats around the internet and print interviews seems to always include some reference to the fact that I started my first novel at the age of eight. I still have this unfinished masterpiece, fifteen chapters of it scrawled in an assortment of spiral notebooks. The handwriting morphs as it goes, so I think I may have worked on it for several years.

Just for fun today, I thought some of you might enjoy reading that early start. I will keep all errors intact. Be kind. I was eight!

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Do You Like the New Look?

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A couple of months ago I spent some time analyzing my website, taking a look at the pages that my readers seem to most enjoy, learning that my travel stories and photos are a favorite.

As a result, I’ve recently had my site redesigned to make it easier and even more enjoyable to experience the stories and images of my adventures in researching my novels.

You’ll find the “Tracy’s Travels” link at the top will take you to the locations of my books’ settings, and give you a glimpse into the places where specific scenes take place, the inspiration for the plots, and some of my exploits while scouring the globe for new stories.

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My Day at the Publishing House

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Recently I had the privilege of visiting the offices of my new publisher, Thomas Nelson, in Nashville. I thought readers might be interested in an “inside look” at an author’s day at the publishing house…

Because this is a new relationship, the time was set aside for a number of agenda items – getting to know each other and talking books.

I arrived in Nashville the day before we were to get together at the publishing house, and met up with my dear friend Kelly, who now lives in Memphis, a few hours away. She graciously made the drive to spend time with me, and even more graciously agreed to a crazy idea I’d hatched a few days earlier.

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Very Exciting News!

Garden of Madness by Tracy L. Higley

I am so pleased to announce that I’ve recently signed with a new publishing house, Thomas Nelson Publishers, to continue writing the stories I love. The first of these new books will be Garden of Madness, set among the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Garden of Madness is due out in about five months – in May, 2012.  You can find out more about Garden of Madness on this page, and even sign up for a reminder, which will include you in a special offer when the book releases.

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Josephus: Traitor or Reliable Historian?

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As a historian, Flavius Josephus (37 – c. AD 100) has long been valued for his contribution to the scholarship of a place and period that has relatively few reliable sources. For two thousand years his works have been studied and scrutinized by both Christians and Jews for their specific interest in the subject matter, and by historians at large interested in the period. Through the years Josephus has been at times vilified, and at others excused, even appreciated, for his peculiar relationship with the Romans of his day – a relationship often considered dubious in its beginnings and earning him the label of “traitor.”

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Book Thoughts: Forbidden by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee

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I recently read Forbidden and though I don’t comment on every book I read on this blog, I had to mention this one, as it touches so dynamically on ideas that resonate with me.

I’ll admit to some bias when starting this book. Tosca is a friend of mine, and one of my favorite writers. Her novel, Havah: The Story of Eve is one of my all-time favorite books.

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God in the Dock

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I’m continuing to dig into C.S. Lewis’s fascination with and reconciliation between Christianity and paganism, as it informs my writing and my heart. If you missed the first post in this series, you can find it here: Myth Made Fact

Lewis detailed his spiritual struggle in his autobiography, but one of his classic later writings, God in the Dock, is a series of essays intended as a defense of Christianity. (The “dock” is a British term for the place in a courtroom where the accused sits during trial.) One of my favorite of these essays is entitled “Myth Became Fact.”

Lewis had an atheist friend who asked why he did not “cut the cord” with all the elements that Christianity had in common with mythology, telling Lewis that his faith would be easier, less embarrassing, perhaps, if he could rid himself of the outdated trappings.

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