Sunday, January 9, 2011

Guest Blogger Delia Latham on Angels, Oil, and Solomon’s Gate

I am pleased to have guest blogger Delia Latham on Blissful Writing Thoughts, introducing her brand new work, Destiny's Dream. She is also having a contest as well on her website, so be sure to find out how to enter!

Angels, Oil, and Solomon’s Gate

Writing the Solomon’s Gate Series has been an incredible experience. May I share with you a little about it?

I’m still working on the third book, and somewhat dreading reaching “The End.” As a rule, that’s the goal for a writer—get the book done. Do a Snoopy dance when you’ve typed that final word, and send off excited e-mails to let everyone who cares (and some who don’t) know that IT IS FINISHED!

So why am I having early withdrawal pangs?

Because with each of the books in this series, God has further opened my eyes to His awesome AWESOMENESS! (Okay, that may not be a word. Don’t shoot me…I couldn’t think of one that said what I’m trying to say more effectively…) From the first page of Destiny’s Dream (Book One), He opened up His Word to me in ways I never could have anticipated.

For instance, I’d never really given anointing oil a second thought. From a very early age—back when I was still falling asleep under the church pews during services that lasted late into the night—I watched my pastor anoint the sick with oil before he prayed for them. It was a routine I didn’t question…but neither did I bother to learn what it was all about. It just was. Somehow, I allowed that state of bland acceptance to continue all my life.

Until my heroine, Destiny May, became an anointing oil diva.

First, just so you understand, I’m a “seat-of-the-pants” writer. I don’t outline or even lay out a real plan for my books. I get a mustard seed of an idea, mull it around in my overactive noodle for a while, then sit down and start writing. My books tend to be very much character-driven, and I don’t always know what they’re going to do, or where they’re going to take me.

Imagine my surprise, then, when Destiny placed a beautiful bottle on her office desk. She filled it with…yes, you guessed it…anointing oil, which she smeared on the corner of every application she received at her Christian dating agency (Solomon’s Gate), then proceeded to pray over each one individually.

Well. OK, Destiny. I believe in prayer. I’m familiar with anointing oil. I guess I can go with this. (Hey, God…what are You up to?)

And then I started looking into what the Bible has to say about these aromatic oils. What I found was a source of unbelievable power. It had been available to me all along, but for whatever reason, God had to use a fictional character to open my eyes to it. (For the record, Destiny’s use of anointing oil becomes a bit of a ministry in the following two books.)

But God didn’t stop there.

I’ve always believed in angels. They existed in the Bible, so it stands to reason that they’re still around. But in my mind, they were kind of on a level with fairy tale creatures. An interesting concept, but not a part of reality—certainly not my reality.

That changed a little when I wrote Goldeneyes (2008). God placed an angel directly in my writing path, and I couldn’t get around him. That was just the beginning. When I started this series, I had to take a second look at what I really believed about God’s special messengers. From page one, I began to hear the whoosh of mighty wings. Destiny’s mother, on her deathbed, bequeathed a verse of scripture to her daughter. It was a familiar scripture, one I’m fairly certain most readers will recognize. Psalm 91:11—For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Nice verse. Comforting.

That’s what Destiny thought, until angels started showing up in her life. Then she had to rethink the concept, and look at what that verse really promises. He gives His children a band of heavenly bodyguards! But, through the events in my heroine’s life, I came to believe that God didn’t place His angels over us simply as guardians of our safety. They keep us in all our ways.

Whoa. That little three-letter word covers a tremendous amount of territory. ALL our ways. That means every step we take. It encompasses job and family, ups and down, ins and outs…ALL our ways. (“All” includes choosing someone to love, so angels hanging out around Solomon’s Gate shouldn’t be a surprise, should they?)

Do I sound excited? That’s because I am excited. It thrills me to know that God is using my career in writing to draw me closer to Him. It humbles me to realize that, as He draws me closer, He allows me to share that blessing with those who read my books.

It is my prayer that not one reader closes the back cover of Destiny’s Dream without having been awakened to a perhaps as-yet-unexplored power at their disposal—the power of anointing oil. Not only that, but I hope they will have felt the brush of angel’s wings, and truly come to realize that God loves each of us enough to assign a special team of angelic guides to keep us in all our ways.

We are truly blessed children of royalty!

In lieu of giveaways from blog to blog during the Destiny’s Dream Blog Tour, Delia is conducting a fun, exciting contest on her website. It will be ongoing from Dec. 15 through Jan. 31. Come on over and find out how to earn as many entries as possible!

9 comments:

Delia Latham said...

Lauralee, thanks so much for letting me hang out at "Blissful Writing Thoughts" for a little while! I look forward to chatting a little with you and your readers.
Readers, be sure to check out the Daughters of Destiny Contest (Lauralee posted the link in the post). The prizes are awesome, and I've provided ample opportunity for you to earn a LOT of entries. Good luck!

Lorilyn said...

Delia, I loved your post here. I never thought much about anointing with oil until my daughter, Manisha, lay in a hospital bed with a probable diagnosis of a brain tumor. My dad died of a brain tumor five years to the day that she had the massive seizure. A few days later, one of the elders came to my daughter's hospital room with a bottle of oil and asked if he could anoint her. I had never seen it done or heard of it. I was at a new church then, and my previous church never did it in public. Of course, I said yes, not knowing what to think -- it seemed kind of hoaky to me, but I was desperate. It's amazing what God can do when we get desperate. I had prayed for two things while Manisha was in the hospital. That she would not have to have surgery and she wouldn't have a brain tumor. She was already scheduled for surgery and the MRI revealed what looked like a cancerous lesion.

Did I really think God could answer that kind of a prayer? Well, He did. She did not have a brain tumor and she never had surgery. And the oil -- I don't know if it was the oil or not, but ever since then, when I am really, really worried about one of my daughters, I go and get the olive oil and smear it on the side of their doors, praying for them. I have never shared this before, and I know some people will say it's all quackery, but God healed Manisha. No one who knows her story would doubt it.

I believe God gives us tangible things we can "act" out to show we are trusting Him and giving Him our hearts. It's something I have dedicated as a very holy act, only done when I feel called to do it, and I always have peace once I have done it (as well as prayed). At that point, I know I have given my children to the Lord and done the best that I can humanly do.

Sorry for being so long-winded, but I need to read your book. I will save the angel story for another day, but I have a story from the quote you gave. Thanks for touching a nerve in me. We need to remember God's grace in everything.

Lorilyn said...

Delia, I loved your post here. I never thought much about anointing with oil until my daughter, Manisha, lay in a hospital bed with a probable diagnosis of a brain tumor. My dad died of a brain tumor five years to the day that she had the massive seizure.

A few days later, one of the elders came to my daughter's hospital room with a bottle of oil and asked if he could anoint her. I had never seen it done or heard of it. I was at a new church then, and my previous church never did it in public. Of course, I said yes, not knowing what to think -- it seemed kind of hoaky to me, but I was desperate. It's amazing what God can do when we get desperate. I had prayed for two things while Manisha was in the hospital. That she would not have to have surgery and she wouldn't have a brain tumor. She was already scheduled for surgery and the MRI revealed what looked like a cancerous lesion.

Did I really think God could answer that kind of a prayer? Well, He did. She did not have a brain tumor and she never had surgery. And the oil -- I don't know if it was the oil or not, but ever since then, when I am really, really worried about one of my daughters, I go and get the olive oil and smear it on the sides of their bedroom doors, praying for them.

I have never shared this before, and I know some people will say it's all quackery, but God healed Manisha. No one who knows her story would doubt it. I believe God gives us tangible things we can "act" out to show we are trusting Him and giving Him our hearts. It's something I have dedicated as a very holy act, only done when I feel called to do it, and I always have peace once I have done it (as well as prayed).

At that point, I know I have given my children to the Lord and done the best that I can humanly do.

Sorry for being so long winded, but I need to read your book. I will save the angel story for another day, but I have a story from the quote you gave. Thanks for touching a nerve in me. We need to remember God's grace in everything.

Donna B said...

Lovely post, Delia. Destiny's Dream sounds wonderful!

Marianne Evans said...

Delia, congrats on Destiny's Dream, and the Solomon's Gate series! I'm so proud of you! May God bless your efforts abundantly - and keep writing for the good fight!!! Blessings ~ Marianne

Mary Manners said...

Hey Delia,

Your post is great! I don't know about you, but we are in the midst of a monster snowstorm here is East TN. It's a great opportunity to read one of your wonderful romances.

God bless and stay warm!

Tanya Hanson said...

Delia, what a terrific blog. I love getting to know you better and better. I so believe in angels, and have had two real experiences.

Lauralee, What a wonderful site you have here. Good to be here. Love to you both.

Delia Latham said...

I'm loving all the comments about anointing oil! Thanks so much to all of you for stopping in and taking time to share your stories.

Delia Latham said...

Tanya...about those angel experiences. Have you checked out part one of the Daughters of Destiny Contest? (http://www.delialatham.net/contest.htm) :)