Sunday, March 25, 2007

Tricia Goyer's Story Behind the Story

I was privileged to read an advance copy of Tricia Goyer’s A Valley of Betrayal. I won’t go into the review here but if you want to see what I think, click here.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share Tricia’s own words about this amazing time in history—yep, you know I love that stuff. There are time periods where I feel pretty comfortable with my knowledge and there are time periods where I don’t know anything. This is one time period where I’ve a lot to learn. Maybe you do, too. So, I’ll let Tricia’s words whet your appetite and perhaps you’ll want to learn more.

Abundant blessings!

The Story Behind the Novel:

A few years ago when I was researching for my fourth World War II novel, Arms of Deliverance, I came across a unique autobiography. One B-17 crewmember I read about claimed to make it out of German-occupied Belgium after a plane crash due, in part, to his skills he picked up as a veteran of The Spanish Civil War. Reading that bit of information, I had to scratch my head. First of all, I had never heard of the war. And second, what was an American doing fighting in Spain in the late 1930s? Before I knew it, I uncovered a fascinating time in history—one that I soon discovered many people know little about. This is what I learned:
Nazi tanks rolled across the hillsides and German bombers roared overhead, dropping bombs on helpless citizens. Italian troops fought alongside the Germans, and their opponents attempted to stand strong—Americans, British, Irishmen, and others—in unison with other volunteers from many countries. And their battleground? The beautiful Spanish countryside.
From July 17, 1936-April 1, 1939, well before America was involved in World War II, another battle was fought on the hillsides of Spain. On one side were the Spanish Republicans, joined by the Soviet Union and The International Brigade—men and women from all over the world who have volunteered to fight Fascism. Opposing them, Franco and his Fascist military leaders, supported with troops, machinery, and weapons from Hitler and Mussolini. The Spanish Civil War, considered the “training ground” for the war to come, boasted of thousands of American volunteers who joined to fight on the Republican side, half of which never returned home.
Unlike World War II, there is no clear line between white and black, good and evil. Both sides committed atrocities. Both sides had deep convictions they felt worth fighting and dying for.
Loyalists—also know as the Republicans were aided by the Soviet Union, the Communist movement, and the International Brigades. If not for the weapons and volunteers from these sources their fight would have ended in weeks rather than years. While many men fought side by side, their political views included that of liberal democracy, communism and socialism. The Catholic Basque Country also sided with the Republic, mainly because it sought independence from the central government and was promised this by Republican leaders in Madrid.
Nationalists—or Francoists were aided mainly by Germany and Italy. The Nationalist opposed an independent Basque state. Their main supporters were those who believed in a monarchist state and fascist interests. The Nationalist wished for Spain to continue on as it had for years, with rich landowners, the military, and the church running the country. Most of the Roman Catholic clergy supported the Nationalists, except those in the Basque region.
During the Spanish Civil war, terror tactics against civilians were common. And while history books discuss the estimated one million people who lost their lives during the conflict, we must not forget that each of those who fought, who died, had their own tales. From visitors to Spain who found themselves caught in the conflict, to the communist supporters, Basque priests, and Nazi airmen . . . each saw this war in a different light. These are the stories behind A Valley of Betrayal.
Tricia Goyer

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Never Can Say Goodbye

It started Sunday morning in the shower. Only a week early but my tears didn’t want to stop when I turned off the faucet. Phil asked if I was practicing. I told him no, just thinking too much.

And I guess that’s what it is, still thinking too much about the last few days with my pastor, Steve Chiles. He has been senior pastor at North Hills Church for over eleven years now. A lot has happened in those eleven years and I’ve got that Clifton Davis song humming in my head over it.

Steve’s done his best to make this transition as smooth as possible but the truth is, it is still change.

And I hate change.

I loathe change.

Change is right up there with vomiting in my book. Upheaval, upchuck—they both have the same prefix. Kind of like living in the same area code of misery.

However, how does one argue with God and still move forward? So I surrender. Uncle. Let’s get this hard part done—that part where I quit fighting and do what He always knew I’d do when I came to my senses. I love my pastor. He has asked that I love the new pastor. I can do that, I can. I can do that because I love my Abba and this is what He asks of me. I can do this because my friend asks this and it will help him to focus on God’s leading if he doesn’t have to worry about how his church takes this new, gulp, change. I can do this.

But don’t ask me to say goodbye. That I cannot do.

Love ya, Steve. This video is for you.

Abundant blessings!