Running from a Crazy Man – Lori Roeleveld

Posted by on Apr 3, 2015 | 6 comments

Running from a Crazy Man – Lori Roeleveld

My guest this week is author Lori Stanley Roeleveld, author of the non-fiction inspirational book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). It’s not your average devotional book. It won’t leave you in a comfortable, feel-good place, but it will take you to a greater place in your walk with the Lord. See the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page! 

 

 

 

Fabulous Fridays

Lori, I love the title of your book, Running from a Crazy Man. Tell us how that came about and how you came to write it.

King David thought his life was headed in one straight direction – to the throne – when suddenly, all he was doing was running from King Saul. Saul’s the original crazy man but we all have something that interrupts our regularly scheduled programming and we wonder where God is in the middle of it. I believe God was with David in the caves as surely as He was with him when he wore the crown. My book is about following Jesus when it doesn’t make sense, when it’s challenging, and even when it feels like God has no concern at all for your comfort in this life. I’m praying it gives readers eyes to see Him in their time “in the caves.” Each chapter is adapted from an original blog post and concludes with study questions and a thought to remember.

One of the lines in your bio which fascinates me is that you are “a disturber of Hobbits. Can you explain a little about that?

I identify with the hobbits of Lord of the Rings who love comfort, routine, and timely meals. I also, though, identify with Bilbo and Frodo who were drafted into adventure and found it to be addictively exciting. I believe Christians can become too comfortable and we not only need to be disturbed into adventure, we benefit from it.

What is your target audience?

My target audience is long-time Christians, believers who know His word and know how to apply it to their lives butRunning from a Crazy Man they’ve suffered some intense hardship and need encouragement to persevere.

Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?

I do have a day job. I work full-time as a Wraparound facilitator with a community-based social service program. I have a caseload of families whose children have serious emotional concerns or are at risk of abuse/neglect/or dependency. My job is to build a team around the family so they have the support and resources they need to stay healthy and stay together. I have a strong writing habit and routine. I respect it like a second job. My biggest challenge is pulling my head out of my laptop sometimes to socialize and make sure the people in my life know I value them.

Since you have a degree in Biblical Studies, if you could spend a day with anyone from the Bible, other than Jesus, who would it be?

Probably the apostle John.

What is one of your favorite Biblical passages (or books) to study through?

I love the book of Hebrews, the Old Testament, and the book of John. I spend a lot of time lately in Psalm 37 and John 15 trying to learn to abide.

What kind of research was involved in writing this book? 

Most of this book came from blog posts that stemmed from my own experiences with hardship, adversity, or trial so the research was real life searching of scriptures to understand how to endure and thrive in the midst of trials.

What events in your personal life have most impacted your writing, and how?

I spent fifteen years living with lupus until I was healed twenty-two years ago. Then, my husband fought a rare kidney illness for five years, almost dying, but eventually was healed. Now, my husband has been diagnosed with MS in the past two years and we’re working through what God will bring about through that. Of course, all this illness has resulted in some periods of unemployment and a fair share of financial struggles. These trials as well as the normal frictions faced by any believer who’s been active in the church for over fifty years affect my work.

What do you want your readers to gain by reading your book?

I want readers facing trials to feel as though they’re not alone. I want them to know they can endure with strength from Jesus and do more than just survive, they can thrive and be involved in the adventure of faith even if their problems persist.

What are three things most people don’t know about you?

A) I earned a black belt in karate at age 44, B) I play guitar and sing, and C) I’ve been part of a firefighting family since birth – my father is 79 and is in his 51st year as a fire chief.

Please share the first chapter of your book with us.

Running from a Crazy Man

Following Jesus When It Doesn’t Make Sense

This is nuts.

That’s what I’m thinking about my life sometimes and the lives of people I love.

Something is seriously messed up because life doesn’t make sense.

Have you noticed?

There are people who love and obey the Lord and they thrive.

There are people who rebel against God and they suffer.

But sometimes, people who rebel against God enjoy great happiness, wealth, and all the best the world has to offer, seeming to prosper at every turn.

Sometimes people who love and obey the Lord face trials, losses, and failures that make others shake their heads and turn away in confusion.

On some days, we know exactly what God is about and what He’s doing in our lives. On other days, we feel as though all we’re doing is running from a crazy man.

Like David.

As a young shepherd, David spent years getting to know God. I imagine at night, he contemplated the stars, wrote songs to the Lord, and saw the staggering works of God in nature as he defended his flock against lions and bears. He probably dreamed about the day when he would become a true warrior.

Then, David was called in from tending the sheep. The prophet Samuel anointed him king—an exhilarating moment for a young man, brimming with promise and yet laden with fear too. The nation of Israel already had a king who was quite comfortable on his throne.

But David’s immediate prospects improved even more when he took a place of honor within King Saul’s household, developed a camaraderie with the prince, Jonathan, and became the only person who could soothe the king with his songs. The power of God was strong within him. It emboldened him to oppose the giant warrior Goliath and defeat him with inferior weapons.

This young man was heading somewhere. Nothing could stop him. He knew the Lord’s blessing and favor was upon him. He looked forward with confidence.

Until a spear came flying at his head.

And not just any spear, the king’s spear. Neither was it a slip of the hand. One look at Saul’s face and David knew he had become the king’s enemy.

Why? David hadn’t sought an enemy. David knew his place and was faithful to God, patiently waiting his turn on the throne. Yet, the following years of his life would find David doing nothing more than running from a crazy man.

David fled, seeking refuge where he could, never staying in one place for long. He gathered outcasts around him he never dreamed would become his fellows, and they ran with him, always evading an unpredictable spear-wielding monarch.

This is nuts, he must have thought some nights. We have a real enemy to fight, the Philistines. We should be combining forces not battling one another. What is this accomplishing? How can it be God’s plan for me to spend my days and nights running from a mad king? How is this good for me or for Israel?

And yet, it’s clear from the biblical record all that running sorted David out.

He could have been arrogant. David had numerous reasons to believe in himself and trust his own skills, but spending years off kilter, relying on God alone, helped to sober him before the throne became his.

As a fugitive, David also learned that while his fortune could turn on the point of a spinning javelin, God would never leave him nor forsake him whether he encountered crowns or caves.

Others, too, recognized what David was made of in the years he ran from Saul. Time and again, when other men would have sliced Saul down or chosen to escape from the entire situation and never look back, David acted with honor, with faith in God, and with loyalty to king and country. As others witnessed this, he bore testimony to the faithfulness of God in the midst of trials and inspired people to trust his leadership when it came his time to rule.

To David, it must have seemed a terrible waste of time, all that running, hiding, and fighting.

It came out of nowhere, just when David thought he was headed somewhere. He felt God had plans for him, but suddenly, life was all about the running.

Is there a crazy man chasing you? Do you feel as though someone or something else has grabbed the reins of your life and you’ve lost control of your days and nights?

Maybe your crazy man is a disease or the aftermath of a disaster. Maybe you’re reeling from betrayal or a loss. Perhaps someone close to you has been stricken with a mental illness or an addiction and you’re in a battle for his or her life. Or a series of events have lined up to knock you down again and again and again just when you thought you were getting somewhere.

Remember David. He was a man after God’s own heart, but for a long time all he did was hide out in caves dodging a spear with his name on it. Survival seemed to be his only accomplishment.

But God was with him. God accomplished much during that time—in and through David. He can accomplish much in and through you during your time on the run.

God will never leave you nor forsake you. While you’re running from the crazy man, God is waiting for you in every cave, in every hideout, in every stronghold. The crazy man doesn’t win in the end. God wins. Those who remain with God share His victory.

Ponder the Perplexities:

Need help coming to terms with your “crazy man?” Who doesn’t? I know I did. 

David’s story is in 1 Samuel 15-2 Samuel 1. If you’re visual, sketch a simple timeline of David’s life, then sketch one of your own. What can you learn from those timelines?

If you run out of words to pray, use Bible verses as prayers such as Psalm 31:14-16:

But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors! Make your face shine on your servant; save me in your steadfast love!

If your days of running are behind you, can you see how God used that time? What did He do in you or through you as a result? How can you encourage others with your story?

Remember: While our fortunes can turn on the point of a spinning javelin, God will never leave us nor forsake us whether we encounter crowns or caves.

About the author:

Lori RoeleveldLori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored a disturbing blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). You’ll find Lori at her website www.loriroeleveld.com or on her front porch writing. If not, know this married mother of two homeschooled adults is off somewhere slaying dragons.

Connect with Lori:

Website: www.loriroeleveld.com

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/dA_iSy5SzfQ

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lori-Stanley-Roeleveld/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lorisroel/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/101869504911546390890/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9798820.Lori_Stanley_Roeleveld

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lorisroeleveld

Book Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

6 Comments

  1. Boy howdy, can I relate to this subject matter! The cave can be dark and damp, but I’m learning to hide beneath the shadow of His wing and snuggle there when I’m overwhelmed. I love the title, Lori!

    • Thank you, Nan. Studying David’s time on the run has provided me much instruction for challenging days in my own life.

    • Thanks for commenting, Nan!

  2. I have never read anything so katholic and dark at the same time. Sounds interesting.

    • Hi Irma, I’ve heard from many who have read it that they do find it interesting but I’ve never heard it referred to as dark. I’m hoping, in fact, that what I’ve written brings light.

    • Thanks for your comment, Irma. I have not completed reading it, but have not found the content dark at all, but extremely encouraging and hopeful.

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