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Stormy Beach

"Powerful historical fiction. A good story based in fact, for middle grade and up." (Amazon review)

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What Does Advent Mean To Me

Reminder - Advent Begins Sunday, December 3rd

Jotham's Journey                 Tabitha's Travels

Bartholomew's Passage         Ishtar's Odyssey

"What Does Advent Mean To Me?"
by Arnold Ytreeide

One December day, something more than twenty-five years ago, a young woman came into the office where I worked at a university. I was immediately smitten, and determined to ask her out. Before I got to that, I found out that she was a widow, and had two young children. So it took some time, some prodding by friends, and some very pointed discussions with God before I got up the courage to call her. After three dates, I met the kids, and we all fell in love.

A year later, we weren't married yet, but my to-be wife said that their family always followed the Advent traditions, but that year she couldn't find any material she thought fit her kids. Would I like to write a little something for them? A story maybe?

"Of course," I said, since storytelling had been in my blood my entire life. So I sat down to write a little story I called Jotham's Journey. Each night of Advent we'd gather in the living room. The kids usually knelt at the ottoman while I read that night's chapter. When that chapter was over, they'd always beg for more, but I kept to a strict rule of "One chapter per night!" (They didn't know it at the time, but I hadn't yet written the next night's chapter.)

We would then sing some Christmas carols, mom would pray, then the kids would go to bed by candle light.

That Christmas, our family was completed. While never forgetting their birth father, we became a new family, a new creation of God, and Jotham's Journey was a major part of that.

The following month, an editor at a publishing house called me, out of the blue, and said she'd heard "through the grapevine" that I'd written an Advent story, and asked to see it. A couple months after that they asked to publish it, and Jotham's Journey -- and all the books that followed -- touched many more families.

We were all married the June after that Christmas, my wife, two kids, and I, and my wife and I now have five grandchildren. Each Advent, we still read these stories together.

Yes, Advent is about preparing ourselves to celebrate the truth of the Christmas story, and the gift of the Messiah at the center of that truth. But for me, Advent means a moment in time when God also prepared me for another gift, the gift of a wife, of children, of a family.

        I can't tell you how much we love ALL of your stories.  We've been reading the Christmas ones for years and are reading Amon now for the 3rd time. I have read all the Mike Danford books aloud and lately my kids have been reading them....till all hours of the night.


Mike Danford #9 - NOW AVAILABLE!

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How far will Mike and Josh go to help a friend? Apparently there’s no limit, since this time they have to go farther than they ever thought possible. But it’s the only solution, and nothing will ever stop them from doing the right thing, or following God’s will.

This time, though, Mike has a deep, dark secret that’s killing him. He wants to share it, but it seems like nothing, and no one, can fix his problem.

Eventually his friendships, pastor, parents, and faith in God get him through - but not before he’s forced once again to dance with death, this time on the edge of the universe.


Now Available in Print and Kindle!

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Book #2 Now Shipping

After the excitement of Amon's Adventure, he's back with a new challenge: help figure out what it means to build a whole new church. Of course, there are many in Jerusalem who want to crush this annoying movement -- including one of Amon's best friends -- but Amon's Secret keeps everyone safe. For a time. Eventually he must learn, again, that God is in control of all things.

Amon's Secret can be read together by families, or as a personal time of adventure and learning any time of the year.

Check here for drawings, maps, and other information!

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