12 August 2012

Interview With Murray Pura by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Murray Pura
Murray Pura is the author of The Face of Heaven and The Wings of Morning and a dozen others books that include fiction and nonfiction titles. Website: www.murraypura.com

Murray, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help?
That would have to be my mother’s suicide. She was the only other Christian in my immediate family and a depression, spread over many years, that she could not shake, led to her taking her life. Dealing with that has been a God journey of many years.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
*It changes from time to time because the Christ journey changes. But I love Psalm 139:12. It is always meaningful to me in rough times:
English Standard Version (©2001)Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
Disability friendliness: Murray’s books are available in Kindle format which allows print size to be increased and also audio capability of text-to-speech.
The Wings of Morning by Murray Pura
What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
*Ordinary people going through extraordinary events and experiences can overcome with the help of others and the very real help of God. This God help comes to them in ways that are both easily recognized and not so easily recognized (the “angels unawares” idea).

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
*In The Wings of Morning I was very moved by how the Amish were persecuted during World War I and how they withstood it without retaliating, suffering silently like Christ before his persecutors. In The Face of Heaven, in which I deal with the American Civil War, I was very touched by how often soldiers from one side took care of the wounded from the other side.
The Face of Heaven
In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?  
*The biggest dilemma for the hero and heroine is the book is knowing that if they do what they believe is right it will alienate them from their family and friends, perhaps permanently. In addition it will go against deeply ingrained ideas in their own hearts and minds about the evil of war and violence. Thus when they choose to proceed and risk division with their families as well as within their own hearts there is a great deal they must work through on a daily basis. The greater part of the story deals with this ongoing struggle. The reviewer in Publishers Weekly recognized this about The Face of Heaven: “The war is merely a backdrop to the personal conflicts of these young Christians who feel compelled to follow their convictions despite the impending consequences.”



MURRAY PURA BIO 
Murray was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His first story was published
in Teen Power in the USA when he was 16 and earned him the princely sum of
Murray's Daughter was the model.
$25.00. His first novel was released in Toronto in 1988. Since that time he has published five more novels, two collections of short stories, and a number of nonfiction titles including Zondervan's books Rooted and Streams. He has been a finalist for the Paraclete Fiction Award, the Dartmouth Book Award, the Kobzar Literary Award, and the John Spencer Hill Literary Award. In June of this year he won  the Word Guild Award for his novel The White Birds of Morning (Toronto's Word Guild Award is the Canadian equivalent of the Christys). Murray pastored for 25 years and wrote on the side. He now writes full-time and currently publishes with Zondervan, Harper One San Francisco, Barbour, Harvest House, and Baker, among others. As well as his homeland of Canada, Murray has lived in Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, and California, and currently makes his home in southwestern Alberta near Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. He and his wife Linda have two children, Micah and Micaela. The Face of Heaven, Number 2 in Harvest House's Amish-American Snapshots in History series, is Murray's most recent book.

Murray's books can be purchased through Amazon, at CBD,  also available through Barnes and Noble, and other bookstores.

Thank you Murray for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!


GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday. Your choice of Murray's books, choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback.

159 comments:

  1. Great interview Carrie and Murray!

    I have a question for Murray. Did your Mother's suicide make you bitter at any time in your life? That would be a tough obstacle for me to work through. I would always wonder if there was some sign that I missed, or did I do all I could have done. Please don't feel I am blaming you in anyway. That is not the case! When my Mom passed away in January those questions went through my mind. I was driving myself crazy with the what ifs! I finally had to let it go.

    Blessings!

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  2. Welcome to OTT, MURRAY! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us about what had to be the most difficult, darkest time in your life. When I was a young girl, my father, a hopeless alcoholic, tried to take his life in a most horrifying way. He didn't succeed--I can't imagine if he had, and I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

    I love Face of Heaven, and your compassion truly shines through this book. I learned so much by reading it! Sometimes it's tough to stand up for what's right, especially when it may alienate some friends and family members, but the eternal rewards are truly worth it in the long run.

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  3. Welcome Murray, thanks for sharing with us today. It's great to have you with us, I know everyone has been looking forward to it! :)

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  4. Murray, I am so sorry that you had to go through your's mother sucide as a survivior of several attempts myself I hope you don't blame yourself when someone is depressed it is very hard to overcome. I just brought Wings of morning and will love to win face of heaven. Thanks for the chance.

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  5. MURRAY, Thank you for the interview and your transparency in sharing. That is quite a feat moving from nonfiction to fiction with such success. Looking forward to visiting with you this week!

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  6. I write a whole thing & Google lost it - will try again but am testing with this first

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  7. JUDY, DIANA & DEBBIE - I will publish this in parts lest I lose it all again - the whole story > my little brother was born with cerebral palsy because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck - there should have been a C section but they didn't do them that often in the 50s. It finally got Mom so depressed she was placed in an asylum when I was about 11. No one explained it, mom was just gone. About 6 months later she came home but had a relapse & was sent to the asylum & the electroshock treatment again. My little brother was eventually placed in a facility. The loss of a mother hurt & so did the loss of a brother.

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  8. Mom & dad were faithful in visiting my brother in the facility. I also went sometimes. But I found the visits upsetting & depressing - I hated to see my brother in that clinical environment - so didn't go that often. Mom & I were the only Christians & we prayed our hearts out for healing over the years to no avail - nothing changed. Finally my brother had a convulsion at 19, went into a coma, and died. Mom just got worse & worse & ten years later took a bottle of pills - I lost mom & the only other Christian in the family. When this happened I asked God why he found time to help believers get wealthy & healthy but had no time on his hands to save my mother or brother. I also wanted to know why he couldn't have sent an angel to warm me what she was contemplating. So the long pain began.

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  9. JUDY, DIANA & DEBBIE > last part of my note - most of the time I found a lot of Christians unhelpful in the journey - there were those who felt all suicides went to hell, period - others had contributed to my mother's depression by constantly telling her that if she had enough faith my brother would be healed - I was angry at God - angry at Mom for not phoning me & telling me how low she was - it has only been in the past few years I've started to talk about it all - in sermons, in stories, in the books ROOTED and STREAMS - it has helped my healing for I have seen how God uses our stories of pain & suffering to help others caught up in their own struggles and hurts - as for disappointment with God, I have tried to look to God's eternal character of love and mercy and kindness rather than to actions or lack of actions I cannot comprehend - I have also learned to tell God exactly how I feel just like the psalmists often did, good or bad - God has shown me psalm 88 & Job over and over again as well as the Crucifixion - I believe all these things come together in the Lord but I also believe we can never know the half of it or even the most important why's - it comes down to faith - either the suffering drives us to the God who died on the Cross or it drives us away from him - I want the suffering & incomprehension to be the white hot welder's torch that welds me to a God of Love, not the one that cuts us apart

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  10. MURRAY, thanks for sharing your story on overcoming. And thanks for typing it all twice!!

    I just looked at CBD and saw you have some new novels coming. I hope to read them all, because after reading The Face of Heaven you have found a new fan in Holland. :)

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  11. Wonderful Interview, thank you. I never read anything by Murray Pura, his Books sound so good, got to check Amazon out.
    Thanks again

    Many Blessings

    ingrids62448(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  12. Murray, we can either let it make us bitter or better, and I chose the latter, because my suffering as you said, drew me to the Cross. Thank you for sharing that with us. It's amazing to me the great sense of humor you have and the ability to draw others, and to write such spiritual books after what you went through. It just shows that like Joseph in the Bible-God can take that that satan means for evil and harm to a person, and He can turn it to good.

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  13. MARIAN - thank you! I think you would like a lot of the stuff that hasn't found a home with a US publisher yet - like the two volumes of short stories that deal a lot with people overcoming (Mister Good Morning/ The Poets of Windhover Marsh) as well as the series set in World War 1 and 2 (Zo/The White Birds)

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  14. INGRID - thanks! you might want to start with The Wings of Morning in fiction - if you'd like to read something devotional & inspirational consider STREAMS (Zondervan) - bless you!

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  15. DIANA - thank you - I am reminded by the HS that Biblical characters often tell God exactly how they feel & that is really one of the best ways to carry on through - half the psalms are cries to God from the pit - I have often turned to Psalm 88 & to Job & reminded myself that God gives me freedom to be real not unreal - so when I'm hurting & bleeding I don't pretend I'm not - and if I'm disappointed I tell him so - so the relationship continues - if we are artificial the relationship is not likely to last - sometimes my Catholic & Episcopalian friends seem to have a better understanding of suffering than I do in some of my evangelical circles

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  16. Great interview.I would love to read Murray's books.Suicide is a horrible thing to deal with.So many now are going through hard times and dealing with depression.Thanks for sharing...jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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  17. MARIAN - am writing & haven't bothered to look at CBD - what novels are they talking about?? and what covers are they showing?? I always ask my publishers to let me know when I can talk about various new titles (let the project out of the bag) but they never tell me - so what's up??

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  18. Murray, thanks for sharing with us. I know it probably brought up some memories that are still raw. My heart ached for what your Mother went through. Life took its toll. I don't believe for a minute that all people who commit suicide go to Hell. We aren't God. Who are we to play God and judge. You also went through a lot. By the Grace of God you have turned that pain into something creative. God has used you tremendously. We don't understand why we have to go through the things some of us have endured. My Hope in God has kept me focused on Him. God never promised that life would be easy. He did promise to go through it with us. I was once told I should never question God, it was wrong. To me that never made any sense because God knew my thoughts anyway, voicing them aloud wasn't going to make any difference. Thank you again for taking time to share with us.

    Blessings!

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  19. JACKIE - yes, and it doesn't help that I still find believers & churches that say suicide sends you straight to hell even if you have trusted Christ for your salvation - huh?? - so God can forgive murder & rape & child molestation & war crimes if you trust in him but the blood of the Cross is powerless against suicide?? I don't think so - and you find depression in the Bible (like Psalm 88) so I know God wants us to be transparent about it & give it to him - but how can sufferers be transparent if they're afraid they'll get tagged as a depressive if they open up or have people throwing Bible verses at them like machine gun bullets as if quoting verses fixes everything - verses + prayer + relationship + mercy + grace abounding = a beginning on the path of healing

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  20. JUDY - thank you, your words are a real blessing to me

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  21. MURRAY!
    The Whispers of a New Dawn - March 2013
    Ashton Park - December 2012

    I still have to finish "The Wings of Morning" first, but I hope to do that as soon as I have finished reading for Kok (the Dutch publisher I work for). I really hated to stop reading WoM! :(

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  22. God know how we feel, what we are thinking, everything, so when we start believing we can hold back, of course we are kidding ourselves. And MURRAY I have found something similar with coping with my RA--sometimes I've had conservative Christians comment about lack of faith, unforgiveness, etc., etc., as to why my symptoms persist. I can only imagine how hurtful those kind of comments to you must have been. And so glad you are a forgiving guy!

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  23. I thoroughly enjoyed your interview with Murray! He's not only an excellent writer, he's also a warm and friendly person. I have suffered from depression for most of my life, and I can relate to his mother's suffering. Fortunately with prayer and appropriate medication I have overcome those horrific valleys in my life. I'd love to win a copy of one of Murray's new books. Thanks so much for offering this contest!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  24. DEBBIE, thank God you are a survivor

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  25. MARIAN _ Thanks for reading me! ;o)

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  26. CARRIE - it takes time to realize if you hold the poison in & spew it out you are only going about the Devil's business for him - I do not want to be aligned with the dark or the abyss - so you must give those who wound you and those you love over to God's care and justice - and be on about the Kingdom of God - its peace and light and transforming power of grace - not that I haven't felt like throwing some people out the window - but somehow we have to be God's guys - not evil's tools - thanks for fighting the good fight of love & faith, Carrie, and for putting up this site

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  27. NANCEE - I'm so thankful to hear you are overcoming - it's so good to hear - thank God for you

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  28. I also can't tell you how many churches I have been in that have preached from the pulpit, that a Christian cannot suffer from depression---how can they be depressed when they have Jesus living in their heart? Excuse me, but what about Job? Was he whistling zippy doo dah, and dancing all over the place...and he certainly had the Lord in his heart. What about David, who said I wet my couch with my tears, or tears have been my meat all day long, or the prophet, was it Jeremiah or Elijah? who thought he was the only one serving God, and hung his harp on the willow tree. Samson wasn't too happy when he got his eyes poked out, I don't think...just wondering where preachers get these ideas from. Yes, the Bible does say to "count" it all joy, but not that we would feel joy all the time.

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  29. Those were very powerful words, Murray and I totally agree. And thank you for your words of encouragement! I think you must have been an amazing minister and what a wonderful God we serve that He led you to share God's goodness through your writing, too.

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  30. Wow... that was such an interesting read! The interview AND all the comments. Good on you all for sharing... and helping open MY eyes to all this. I've heard Pastors also preach that you can't be depressed if you have Jesus... and had that said to myself once as well when I fell into depression after watching my Uncle actually die and then having family harass about money, property etc as we were his carers! It's refreshing to hear that depression does not mean we are at fault or lacking in faith somehow.
    And thanks for the introduction, Murray... I will be checking out your books!

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  31. It's interesting to think of the Amish in different time periods...though I live in the "Amish Belt" of the US, I've never considered how they lived back towards the turn of the century.
    bskaggs(at)zoominternet(dot)net

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  32. Please join me in praying for Austin--he is my cousin's nephew and attempted suicide. Since yesterday when prayers went up he has been making amazing recovery at the Children's hospital in Ohio. Please pray for a full recovery and that God will bring about a powerful work in his life. His brother recently died from drugs. Thanks!

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  33. THANK YOU for being transparent Murray! I like what you said,"ROOTED and STREAMS - it has helped my healing for I have seen how God uses our stories of pain & suffering to help others caught up in their own struggles and hurts - as for disappointment with God, I have tried to look to God's eternal character of love and mercy and kindness rather than to actions or lack of actions I cannot comprehend - I have also learned to tell God exactly how I feel just like the psalmists often did, good or bad"

    I too have learned this lesson. Our third child has V.A.T.E.R.A.L. A surprise to us all! We learned of this condition my son Isaac was born two months early weighing two pounds.

    We too heard that it must have been our sin to have a child like this and/or our faith wasn't strong enough to have him healed after he was born.

    My husband was given the scripture that talks about the blind boy being healed. The disciples asked Jesus this very question. Who sinned the father or the mother to have a boy like this? Jesus said neither it was so that my Father could be glorified.

    Joni Earikson Tada experienced the same thing as we did. She wasn't healed from a broken neck when prayed for. In her weakness (disability) God has been glorified. She has said that she never would have the compassion and been able to connect with the disabled if she didn't struggle in her physical body every day like they did. She wouldn't have the dependence on God that she has and her relationship wouldn't be as deep if she wasn't in a wheel chair.

    I'm excited to read your books Murray. I think you'll bring a richness and compassion for your characters that will grab our hearts because of your faith journey!!

    THANKS for sharing your heart and books with us!

    Nora St.Laurent
    The Book Club Network

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  34. NOELA, there are so many false things spread about by religious people. One of the churches we attended had a habit of "overlooking" serious issues. You know what happens when you do that--just like MURRAY said--evil results.

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  35. Thank you NORA!!! Love your heart and sharing! I am so sorry that you experienced the pain of having those comments thrown at you.

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  36. I adore Civil War novels, so this is right up my alley. Wonderful interview, Carrie. Thank you Murray, for sharing about the Lord's work in your life and family.
    Many blessings,
    Kathy Maher

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  37. Oh, CARRIE, I am so glad Austin's recovering nicely, but we surely need to pray for him...for inner peace and healing from God! That's so sad.

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  38. DIANA - yes the Bible is full of truth that people often overlook usually because they read the same passages over and over again - Psalm 88 is intensely dark ending with "the darkness is my only friend" - how often have you heard a message on that?? another story that comes to mind is David's grief over Absalom - or Rachel grieving for her children & refusing to be comforted because they are not - or 1 Kings 19 when Elijah becomes suicidal & literally goes out in the desert to die he is so discouraged & depressed - how often do you hear messages keyed into these texts? the 1 Kings 19 story is actually one of the greatest in the Bible

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  39. NOELAN - speaking as a pastor I can only say often stuff is preached because it is an idea that is going the rounds but not because it is a Biblical truth - clearly depression is mentioned often enough in the psalms alone - let alone Job and Ecclesiastes - and what about Jesus who sorrowed so deeply he hoped there was any other way but the Cross? or Paul's pain at people deserting him? - even Jesus got the blues - to deny the reality is to mean we have to fake it with God instead of, as Connie Cavanaugh would say, being honest and living by grace - bless you

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  40. TEDDY - every writer is different in one way or the other - in my case while my tales often have the Amish in them the stories are also about the history of America - so how did the Amish fit into the world in 1863 (The Face of Heaven) or 1917 (The Wings of Morning) or 1941 (Whispers of a New Dawn) and what was that world like? So my books are also historical fiction and romance as well as having our Amish friends in them :o)

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  41. CARRIE thank you for your encouraging words & I am praying for Austin

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  42. NORA - thank you so much for your comments - when you drop back could you please tell me more about this V.A.T.E.R.A.L.? How can we pray for you & your husband and children?

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  43. KATHY - I hope you will find The Face of Heaven significant - I poured myself into that book - not only is it about the war and the Amish and a love between two young people - it is about dealing with loss and suffering and the pain that accompanies conflict - so the book is written on many levels not just one or two - I hope my readers will get that because one or two critics haven't (though Publishers Weekly understood & people like MARIAN BAAY & HELEN HEVNER & DIANA FLOWERS, to mention a few) - bless you

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  44. I have Murray's book The Wings of Morning and look forward to reading it. My TBR pile is pretty deep right now but eventually I will get to it. Y'all know I haven't been doing as much reading lately. I still have disjointed thoughts so bear with me, ok :)

    The Lord refines us with fire so that we become more like Him, sanctifying us so that we can persevere to the end and be with Him. Depression is not to be a perpetual state of being, and God can bring anyone through it. Too often we think He has to work on our terms (healing from illness, etc) but such is not the case. The Lord's prayer says THY WILL BE DONE. Our will MUST be aligned to His or I believe our "suffering" is more than can be handled at times and can become sin. Not always, but sometimes, and I don't want my grief in any way, shape, or form to turn into sin. I know He has a greater plan than I can imagine. Scripture tells me so. If I didn't stay focused on Him and His Word, I would have gone crazy these last 3 months. Seriously, there have been times I felt like running down the road screaming, but didn't :) There have been times that have felt like torture (or at least to me it has felt that way), literal pain in my chest so great that I couldn't breathe, but I have cried out repeatedly to Jesus and the Holy Spirit has comforted me, as has my husband and precious friends, especially those here. I'm not at the same place I was and I know that daily I am making strides and healing in my heart. That doesn't mean I'm not sad and long to hold my sweet girl again, I do but I know she is safe in His arms and that I WILL see her again someday, and that gives me joy and peace deep in my soul!

    Murray, I've heard the same things about suicide and throw that bunk right out the window!

    Thanking God for our oneness in Him, that it reaches across continents and seas, to bring us all together here at OTT-WGH, worshiping and praising HIM for who he was and is and is to come!!!

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  45. Good review, and thanks Murray for you're open and honest note's answering the questions.
    I would love to read one of you're books, so please enter my name in the drawing.
    mirjam(at)fotoflits(dot)com
    Again an other fan in Holland :)

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  46. Good interview! Sorry to hear about your mother. I would love to read one of your books.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    azladijo(at)aol(dot)com

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  47. ANNE, we will keep you lifted up in prayer. Give yourself time. I hope you have found comfort from other parents who have been through this loss. Everyone I have known who has lost a child has said it is the worst type of loss and the greatest ministry has come from others who have been through the same walk. Big hugs!

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  48. MIRJAM, it seems to me that MURRAY's transparency is related to his ministry through his writing too. I can't see how it couldn't be. And I love his comments about when we suppress the darkness it manifests itself in bad ways--better to release it to the light and allow God to heal.

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  49. JO, thanks for coming by. I have to believe someone with MURRAY's background will have powerful stories to share that will bring hope and healing to others.

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  50. ANNE, you have brought the tears in my eyes and I thank you for sharing. Praying for you!
    Hugs!

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  51. a great posting...thanks for the chance to read this novel.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  52. Anne, wow, These days we live in are hard and even harder to understand why things happen.
    My hold is also the words Thy Will Be Done, but sometimes its so hard! God bless you and we pray that the suffering will subside, and that God will give you His peace.

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  53. Sweetie Boy and I have drs appts today and I might not be able to get back on till late in the afternoon. We'll see. DIANA, are you going to be around today? I think you are right--MURRAY I think is on PST. Not sure.

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  54. Yep, and MURRAY will be on soon. Be careful in traffic, dear CARRIE!

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  55. Murray's books sound like they have that uplifting thread of hope that encourages me. We are so blessed that God is with us always. Please add me to the drawing. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

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  56. Murray is a couple of hrs. behind us in beautiful Canada, and is probably having his coffee and hopefully he finally got his bacon by now. :) He will be by later to touch base.

    ANNE, what a beautiful comment, honey, and we are praying for you today. I was so touched by it as well, MARIAN, and am so thankful ANNE is holding onto the Lord and her friends as tightly as she can.

    When my daughter was a teenager she decided she just wanted to do her own thing, and ran away to live in the scariest area of town, amongst the most ungodly people you can imagine. She was raised by a godly family (us) and in church and in a nice home, but all of a sudden this sweet, seemingly innocent young girl started hanging out with the wrong crowd and was putting herself in tremendous danger. I didn't even know where she was exactly, just the area. I remember driving across a bridge one night crying, and this evil little voice told me to just turn my wheel a little, and I would end up smashed on the road below. And another voice, as sweet as the other was evil, told me not to cry three times. He said, "Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry." And I dried my tears and felt that peace that comes only from Jesus, pervade my being. I knew He had it all under control, but still had to fight depression at times, until she made her way back.

    My daughter is an adult now, and has apologized many times over, and says she doesn't know why she did those things. And she is really trying to draw closer to the Lord, so please pray for her.

    Thank God he spared her life out there, and mine on that bridge that night. He knows there is nothing like a Mother's love b/c He put it in us, and He is so extra mindful of you on this day, ANNE.

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  57. Nobody is ever missing me when I decide to sleep late. LOL It's an advantage to live a couple of hours ahead of the US and Canada. Murray is 8 hrs ahead of me and one time I got up early--at 7.00 AM and went to check Facebook and found Murray online. He was getting ready to go to bed and I just got out. Last night I went to bed real late (ask Murray - lol). Most of the time nobody notice that and sometimes C, D or T tell me to go to bed. It's good to have caring friends. lol

    DIANA, I'm praying for your daughter. I'm just sooo glad you didn't drive of that bridge, because then I had never known you--a beautiful friend and sister in Christ!

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  59. Thanks for sharing with us Murray! I love your books! I have horrible depression and reading Amish books lift me up and help me heal. Thanks for allowing God to work through you to help others. Your books have helped me <3
    makeighleekyleigh at yahoo dot com

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  60. Awww---MARIAN. That's so sweet. Thank you! I'm glad I didn't either! The enemy wanted to hush my mouth, and as MURRAY will vouch for, nobody is gonna hush this sassy southern lady. :) My times are in the Lord's hands!

    Yes, we do have to act like "mamas" sometimes, and tell you to go to bed!! lol

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  61. I'm on Mountain Time like Denver & I'm here & will say a few things before I get to writing - MARIAN informed me, much to my surprise, that CBD is already talking about books that won't be out until Christmas & March - I'm only halfway through writing one of them LOL & they have the heroine's name wrong in the promo lit - ha ha - I did want to say that in terms of my addressing directly some of the things we're talking about here on OTT the two books I do that the most in are STREAMS & ROOTED - STREAMS being the easier devotional read, ROOTED being more in-depth - as KAREN VOGEL mentioned I also contributed to Richard Foster's LIFE WITH GOD BIBLE, a devotional Bible where I was asked to do the verse by verse notes on both LUKE & EXODUS in an inspirational vein - again, I talk about suffering & struggle there as well - of course my characters go through it in my stories too

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  62. ANNE thank you for your honesty - your comments remind me of a father who lost his daughter, an RN, to a terrorist (IRA) bomb in Northern Ireland years ago - the bomb was meant to target the military at a memorial site but went off at the wrong time & killed civilians - the father frantically searched through the rubble just in time to hold his dying daughter in his arms & hear her last words: "I love you, daddy." He dedicated the rest of his life to trying to bring the two sides to the peace table & was granted extraordinary access to leaders in both camps because of what had happened to his daughter & because of his sincerity & compassion - he said in an interview that he believed God had a greater plan that encompassed all our suffering and heartbreak - that no matter what evil men did God could and would use it for good - that his daughter's death was not in vain in God's eyes - he said that was the focus he had to maintain - if he didn't believe it he said he would have committed suicide - but he trusted God & that was the only thing that brought him peace - a girl they interviewed in Belfast was asked if the killings made her lose her faith in God - "Not in God," she replied, "In man." - bless you, ANNE

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  63. MIRJAM DE JOODE - so glad to have another Dutch lady on board - Canada has very close ties with Holland - Christ be with you!

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  64. MEGAN PARSONS - I am going to pray for you - I pray God will bless you through story so that your heart & spirit fills with more and more of his light - bless you, my dear

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  65. MERRY - cheers - such a good hobbit name! ;o) in all my writing my characters go through struggle of some kind before they break out into God's light because that is real life - my goal is to entertain, inspire, and bless - so I pray you may be blessed

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  66. KARENK & JO, thanks so much for dropping in & saying hi ;o)

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  67. CARRIE I hope there are raindrops of blessing, however small or large, as you love Austin today

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  68. MURRAY, MIRJAM has lived in Canada growing up - about 25 yrs ago. She's my book friend for many years now!
    Next week she's going back to Canada for 2½ weeks. MIRJAM, what places were you going to visit again? I only remember Vancouver. :)

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  69. DIANA - thank you for that story in the car and of your daughter - than God things are no longer like that - my wife would certainly identify with that as we have an ongoing agony in our extended family that is just like what I went through in the 70s & what you describe - again, prayers seem to be going nowhere & the pain is butcher knife sharp - all we can do is live in grace like Paul for no quick solution or answer seems to be forthcoming - it feels like God doesn't care - somehow we have to look at the character of God & believe in a greater plan incomprehensible to us - not easy when the tears flow & there is no answer - I try to remember that the greatest UNANSWERED PRAYER was the Cross - three times or more Jesus asked that he not have to die by the crucifixion & three times or more the Father said no, it had to be death by crucifixion - unanswered prayer - a no to a request rather than a yes - yet that unanswered prayer (unanswered in the sense that the Cross was not taken away) saved the world - all through his praying in Gethsemane Jesus added "BUT not my will but yours be done" - I guess that is how we have to pray - we make our request but ask for God's way not ours, even if it hurts so bad - only grace can help us pray like that

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  70. Thanks Murray, I lived in St.Albert (by Edmonton) and in Burnaby (Vancouver) total of six years, from age 13 to 19 years old.
    Now going back for the first time in 25 years, I'll be there this wednesday with my family and will be driving from Edmonton-Banff-Vancouver.
    So I know how close those ties are with Holland haha

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  71. BTW going back for a high school reunion :) will be In st.Albert about 6 days, and then moving on.

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  72. MIRIAM - great - I remem how shocked I was in Israel to meet a Dutch girl who had grown up in Stonewall, a community just outside of Winnipeg in Manitoba where I'd grown up - we were about the same age - weather has been hot and sunny so I hope August blesses you - I live south of Banff near the resort of Waterton-Glacier, an international Peace Park with the USA - a lot of Dutch immigrants settled an hour east of us near the city of Lethbridge - welcome back!

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  73. DIANA - I wrote a long response to your note about your daughter - I saw it go up - then it wasn't there any longer - what's up with that? well, thank you & thank God you are alive today & your daughter is okay - later on I'll write some of the stuff out again but not now - bless y'all

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  74. What a great interview! Murray, you are new to me and hopefully soon that will change. Loved those verses!
    Amy Campbell
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  75. Murray we have a saying in Dutch same as in English "its a small world" :)
    There is a Canadian women living in Holland and we went to the same high school in St.Albert, and graduated in the same year, and I met her on Facebook thru an other classmate, how strange is that ;)

    I met a American couple two years ago on vacation in Aruba and they asked me " how come a dutch girl has a Canadian accent" haha

    Yeah I looked it up just today where Waterton -Glacier is located, to bad we won't go down that far south.
    I do hope the weather will stay as nice, we've had a wet summer here, and would love to see some sun :) prognosis seem to be good!

    thanks will be strange to be back, but I can't wait :)

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  76. AMY, so glad those verses are meaningful to you! Have a blessed day!

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  77. MURRAY nothing has been deleted on our end. It happens periodically. DK why.

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  78. Murray Pura has left a new comment on your post "Interview With Murray Pura by Carrie Fancett Pagel...":

    DIANA - thank you for that story in the car and of your daughter - than God things are no longer like that - my wife would certainly identify with that as we have an ongoing agony in our extended family that is just like what I went through in the 70s & what you describe - again, prayers seem to be going nowhere & the pain is butcher knife sharp - all we can do is live in grace like Paul for no quick solution or answer seems to be forthcoming - it feels like God doesn't care - somehow we have to look at the character of God & believe in a greater plan incomprehensible to us - not easy when the tears flow & there is no answer - I try to remember that the greatest UNANSWERED PRAYER was the Cross - three times or more Jesus asked that he not have to die by the crucifixion & three times or more the Father said no, it had to be death by crucifixion - unanswered prayer - a no to a request rather than a yes - yet that unanswered prayer (unanswered in the sense that the Cross was not taken away) saved the world - all through his praying in Gethsemane Jesus added "BUT not my will but yours be done" - I guess that is how we have to pray - we make our request but ask for God's way not ours, even if it hurts so bad - only grace can help us pray like that



    Posted by Murray Pura to Overcoming Through Time - With God's Help at August 13, 2012 12:59 PM

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  79. ah, thank you, CARRIE, I couldn't figure out if I'd been seeing things when I was sure I saw it posted - DIANA will see that now when she drops by again - I'm guest preaching this Sunday & I may use that unanswered prayer & the Cross idea for a starting point - AMY CAMPBELL, a good Scottish name, thank you for your kind words - MIRIAM, all the best - there's some big international baseball tournament going on in Edmonton - going to the Mall??

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  80. oh, CARRIE, looks like I may finally get a chance to do a Colonial Quill type of story ;o)

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  81. MURRAY-thank you for that! It's very disturbing when one goes to the trouble to type in a long, thought provoking comment, and poof...it flies into cyberspace.

    That would be a wonderful sermon, I wish I could hear it! I had to stand on God's promises for years for my daughter, but when God pours out the answers, everything seems to happen quickly! Abraham had to wait 25 years for his promise of a son, so I don't know why we think God should answer ours yesterday, so to speak. We have to be tried and refined, so that we may come forth as pure gold.

    One day the answer to all the prayers by you and your wife that are seemingly going unanswered, and that have been bottled up all this time WILL be poured out, I believe that. And I add mine with yours and your wife's prayers, b/c I have been there and done that and know all about that butcher knife pain and the flowing tears.

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  82. thank you, DIANA - I will keep you posted - CARRIE, not sure of all the details yet but it's the opportunity to do it in serial form - so, a chapter a month for 10 or 12 months, each chapter being 5000-9000 words - they sell each chapter for 99¢ - then, when the story is done a year later, they sell it is a book - ever heard of that? - I have to get a synopsis together - I can tell you that with my other deadlines they will be 5000 word chapters, not 9000 - I can set aside 2-3 days once a month to do each chapter - but since HH seems reluctant to let me do my Revolutionary War theme this may be my chance :o)

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  83. Please enter me!!! They all look GREAT!!!

    amada_chavez@yahoo.com

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  84. I really adore reading the Civil War novels - interweaving with war and romance. Carrie's interview with Murray is very
    Interesting. I would love to win the book, Face of Heaven.
    Thank you !!!
    JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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  85. Great testimony! God does keep working in our lives all the time.
    I love the books I have read so far, Murray, and look forward to reading more.
    majik47@hotmail.com

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  86. Sure do love your books, Murray! Since I love novels with a Civil War setting, I can't wait to read The Face of Heaven. Nice interview, too.

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  87. So interesting to learn more about you Murray. I would love to win one of your books.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

    kaczmom@gmail.con

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  88. Interesting interview !!! Beautiful and moving testimony !!! I really adore reading Civil War novels - interweaving war and romance. I would like to win the book, the Face of Heaven. Thank you !!!

    JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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  89. Murray I sure would like a copy of The Face Of Heaven. I so enjoyed the Wings Of Morning and I look forward to reading Face Of Heaven to.

    Patricia sissy51@suddenlink.net

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  90. I would love to win one of your books!!!
    Thanks for the opportunity!!!
    Jane

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  91. I would love to win your book also! Thank you for the opportunity!

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  92. Thanks for the chance to win one of your books.
    jlscott49 at roadrunner dot com

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  93. Would love to win one of your books :)
    walters@centurylink.net

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  94. What a great interview! I also have suffered from depression since I was in my teens, but fortunately, had a super pastor and Dr. who both recognized my needs at that time. I was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance and told that I would need meds the rest of my life. I realize that prayer is a healer , but my pastor made it clear to me years ago that Doctors are here to help us and God gave them that knowledge for a reason. I can understand your Mom's dilemma and understand. I would love to win one of your books. I feel that I have won the battle, with God's help, most days and after a career in teaching am now review Christian books and quilting. Happy as could be!! Blessings. k_hanns@yahoo.com

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  95. Oh, my, the things that people go through. And I can tell you that you are never ready to lose your mom--even when you want her to have her hearts desire and go on to heaven. You know that life is hard for them and they shouldn't have to live like that so you let them go. But it's a loss like no other.

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  96. LORETTA, I lost my own mother two years ago and was fortunate to have her until I was well into middle age unlike MURRAY was.

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  97. KARLA, Praise God He put you in capable hands and you got the help you needed! Thanks for sharing.

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  98. JENNIFER, JOHNDA, and KAREN--you will be put in the drawing. I am getting ready to do the first one shortly for a Kindle version on MURRAY's first book in this series. It is on sale on Amazon this week!!! So if you don't win, go buy it on sale.

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  99. AMADA, JANE, SANDY, JK, and PATRICIA we will put you into the drawings for this week. I am about to announce the first WINNER of an ebook by MURRAY.

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  100. THANKS EVERYONE for finding your way here, interacting, and asking to enter the draw - I first started writing Perry Mason stories for my mom because I knew I had a good market there - she loved Raymond Burr - and whoever played Ben Casey, the physician, she loved him too - but I stuck to the legal dramas - I guess I was about nine - I wrote them on 5x3 index cards, gave them covers, and stapled them together - mom never mocked them - I can actually still remember one of the story lines - and because I was born on Bobby Burns Day (famous Scot poet - Auld Lang Syne) mom always said I'd be a writer - they gave me Scottish names because of my birthdate > Murray & Andrew > such things mothers plant in the hearts of their wee bairns :o)

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  101. KARLA, it is so good to hear a story like yours where he pastor & doctor both blessed you - I thank God for your healing - MARY, LORETTA, EVERYONE - thank for your encouraging words! BLESS YOU!

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  102. Your mom surely loved you and was proud of you, MURRAY. I tell my son things like that--he has an amazing imagination. Glad your mother's wee bairn grew up to love the Lord and serve Him!

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  103. That is too sweet about the index cards with the covers...you have definitely come a long way since then! :) My mom liked those programs, too, and I'm thinking it was Vince Edwards who played Ben Casey? Oh, that seems a lifetime ago...

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  104. Our first winner this week is KAREN P. Welcome, Karen!!! You have won a Kindle copy of "The Wings of Morning". CONGRATS KAREN!!!

    We still have two more drawings this week and reviews of Murray's books to go up. Diana and Marian and I think Teresa might all have reviews up but it might just be our two Dutch gals! Come back by for those, too!

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  105. Your book, The Face of Heaven, deals with that great question as to what people are willing to give up in order to follow God and be right in His eyes. It sounds like quite an interesting story with relevance to what Christians in other nations go through. I think it is helpful to be reminded of what people give up to be true to God. Some people are able to get through family faith differences and eventually turn their loved ones to the Lord whereas others are not able to do so. I want to see what happens in your story. It would be great to win your book.

    Thank you for the interesting interview. Sorry to hear about your mother. Suicide is difficult to try to understand. It usually evokes a lot of Whys and What ifs. Trusting God is a blessing in such instances. His love transcends the lack of answers. Believing in our God and His heaven is such a relief for the hurting. I know you know all this. I hope all of your family will fully recognize His comfort until your eventual reunion.

    Blessings for a bright future,
    Janice jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com "BC"

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  106. Murray - thank you for the wonderful books! I enjoy reading them and hope to read many more!

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  107. JANICE, thank you so much for your depth & compassion - bless you - DIANA, yes, that sounds right, Vince Edwards, our TV was black & white in those days - I remem Richard Chamberlain as Dr Kildare winning the Emmy one year over Edwards & mom being disappointed - CARRIE - tell your son never to give up setting his imagination free in the spacious love of God > LIGHT, SPACE, ZEST - THAT'S GOD! (Psalm 37, The Message) - KAREN P, congrats on winning a Kindle edition of The Wings of Morning! I hope you really get into the story! - LYNNE, thank you for your kind words! :o)

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  108. I loved the interview with Murray! I am most thankful my schooling and training in my life has allowed me to touch the lives of mentally ill people of all sorts. I have learned that angels are among us. Thank you for a chance to win one of his great books! Terri Clark Terrilea@yahoo.com

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  109. TERRI, thanks for dropping by - and I am glad you have blessed those with mental illness - and seen the angels - blessings on your head & heart!

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  110. TERRI - that's great - thank you for going into the hurting places with Jesus - JANICE - thank you for your compassion & deep understanding - LYNNE, thanks for dropping by &n your kind words!

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  111. I love your books thank you for giving me a chance to try and win

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  112. I've had two brothers commit suicide. A mother would have been more difficult. So sorry you had to go through it. I'd love to learn how you worked through it. I would like whichever book was about dealing with your mom.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

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  113. LINDA - two brothers? I think that must have been so painful - and likely still is - some wounds take a long long time to heal - if ever this side of heaven - I'm sorry for your lifetime loss - the book in which I deal with my mother's suicide is STREAMS (Zondervan, 2010)

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  114. hi LOIS - thanks for dropping by - I know you from FB - didn't you win a copy of A Bride's Flight once? all the best on this giveaway :o)

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  115. Carrie and Murrey, thank you for this interview. It was a blessing. So many stories to hear. I am so glad our GOD loves us so much. I think also of Job, Eligah, and Paul hen suffering comes up. The Lord told Job he let Satan test him thinking he would curse GOD, but, GOD knew he had a strong faith. And, Paul always remined us that it was a priviledge to suffer for the sake of Christ. Also, the scriptures told Eligah. that the suffering was not because he had done wrong. I do not believe someone goes to Hell because of suicide, for, I believe the Bible teaches us that once saved, always saved. We have so many trials in our big family, some simular to these, but GOD has always carried us through. I got so involved in reading all of these comments, that I hope it hasn't made me too late in getting my entry in. I'd love to win Murrays book. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  116. I was just wondering about the drawing. It says through SAT. and yet you have already drawn the first winner. How come? How does this work? It's my first time to visit this site. I forgot to say I am very sorry for all of these people and what they have gone through. Are all of these only ebooks, for I don't have a ereader. I just read print books. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )
    I WILL be back.

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  117. Hi, MAXIE! We are so glad to welcome you to Overcoming Through Time! We are doing THREE giveaways this week, so you may still be one of our winners! You have the option to choose a paperback if you wish, unless you are international and only ebooks for outside of the US. Also did you know you can read an ebook on your computer, too, if you don't have an ereader? Thank you for coming by!

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  118. MAXIE, my grandmother's name was Maude and that is the name of the heroine in my current MS!!! (Of course if it gets bought later who knows what an editor might want to change it to--maybe to Maxine!!!)

    Thank you for your kind comments.I love what you had to say about our Lord--He is so good!

    On this site we typically give away one book, choice of format and of book, per week. However, this week I felt led to offer 3 and so I did the first of the two extra giveaways last night. Two more to go!

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  119. LINDA, I am so sorry about your brothers. Come back and share with us how the Lord brought you through that. Or msg me privately. I am on FB or you can send me an email. Blessings!

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  120. I'm almost finished reading The Wings of Morning, looking forward to reading your other books too!

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  121. I know what it is like to go through a time of depression I am thankful that my Heavenly brought me through it .Unless you have gone through or know someone who has gone through something like depression a person has no idea the h--l it is . I would love to read any of your books .BLESSINGS !

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  122. Would love to win and try one of Murray Pura books.
    Cheryl B
    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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  123. would love to win and add to my collection

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  124. Murray, i forgot to add my email addy to the post. lol so sorry, my post is i would

    love to add to my collection. Thank You , Dixie. DixieB517@aol.com

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  125. Murray, I have read the continuing comments here and feel that I know you so much better after reading the details regarding your life. Your mother was obviously very special, and her response to your index-card books shows unconditional love. She would be so proud of you for having accomplished so much, and I'm sure that she is smiling down from heaven. Yes, we've been told that those who commit suicide don't go to heaven, but I disagree. Mental illness is a chemical imbalance, and can be treated medically (I know that firsthand). What people in the Christian community overlook is that God loves us no matter what baggage we carry. Thank you so much for sharing your most private experiences. You are a very special and talented man, and a blessing to so many. Your writing reflects that, and you are an encouragement to all of us. Would you like to pastor a church in Grand Rapids, Michigan? Would love to listen to you preach!
    Nancee
    quiltcat26[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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  126. A Bride's Flight looks great! That would be my choice!
    richmond.abigail@gmail.com

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  127. Thanks Murray, yes we are going to the WEM was there when it opened in 1981, and as you know there is none that big in Europe so I have to show it to my kids.

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  128. MAXIE - thanks so much for your words & scripture comments - you're right, the Bible is full of teaching about suffering but quite often our churches tend to avoid it - bless you, my dear

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  129. MOM2CAT - thx for picking up a copy of The Wings of Morning _ I hope you enjoy Bride's Flight & Face of Heaven too

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  130. DIXIE & CHERYL B - thanks for coming by - all the best on the draw!

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  131. NANCEE - your kind words are very uplifting - bless you for your wisdom on depression - I have been in GR twice - once was at an award ceremony for ZO at the Festival of Faith & Writing at Calvin (a friend teaches there ) - the other was a week at Zondervan to tape my audio versions of ROOTED & STREAMS, celebrate Christmas, and get to know the Z people better - I actually was looking for a church in the USA in 2010 & then God started throwing writing contracts at me - right now I have books due Oct. 1 & Jan. 1 & March 1 - can't do all that writing & pastor too - I do guest preaching up here though - in fact, doing a sermon this Sunday - thanks for ALL your support :o)

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  132. ABIGAIL - A Bride's Flight was my first fiction book in the USA (came out in January) - it opened the door to the American market for me & that has been such a blessing - cheers!

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  133. Touching interview. I have read The Wings of Morning (great book) and have A Bride's Flight in my TBR pile. Looking forward to The Face of Heaven. Have a Blessed day.
    Karen
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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  134. KAREN, I wondered about your real name! Sounds like Murray is going to keep your reading habit satisfied! He is going to be a busy guy. Thanks for coming by!

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  135. MURRAY, I am going to have to look for your audiobooks! These are nonfiction, right?

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  136. yes, the only audio books I have so far are STREAMS and ROOTED (Zondervan) - it seems to me you should be able to do the MP3 download from the Zondervan site itself - I did the readings for both books - fun but my goodness a lot of work reading both books through without screwing up - of course whenever I did they just redid that part - I also remem I had to re-read a whole chapter because they didn't notice it didn't tape the first time around

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  137. KAREN - thank you for your enthusiasm for The Wings of Morning - all the best with A Bride's Flight & Face of Heaven - blessings!

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  138. Murray, you need to let me know the next time you plan to be in Grand Rapids. I'd love to meet you, and maybe visit over a cup of coffee. You could probably add a book signing in there at one of our local Christian book stores! You would be welcomed with open arms in this community, I assure you!

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  139. Narrated by the author is the best way to go if you can! Will check into that Murray. Oh no about having to retape a chapter. Were you happy with the end result?

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  140. Murray, I ordered both of the nonfiction books (on sale, yay!) via Amazon in regular book format. Looking forward to checking them out!

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  141. I would love win a Bride's Flight.Great interview.Thanks...jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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  142. NANCEE - next time I'm in GR I'll be sure to give you a heads up - thanks!!!! - CARRIE - so you got ROOTED & STREAMS? good for you - STREAMS is the lighter read, so to speak, while ROOTED is a bit heavier - KAREN VOGEL really liked ROOTED - so did Jon Wilcox at Baker & it's because he read ROOTED that he gave me the opportunity to do MAJESTIC & WILD, the same idea as R&S, but more of a guys devotional in a wilderness setting - JACKIE - thanks for dropping in - the ladies will make sure you're entered

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  143. TOMORROW I'll talk about the short story collections that are published out of Vancouver though certain stories have been reprinted in the USA, NZ and GERMANY, for example - I once did a short story readings weekend at a church in Denver, CO

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  144. The cover image really peaks your interest. Please enter me in the giveaway please.

    plb1050[at]gmail[dot]com

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  145. Would love to win a copy of your book. Thanks for giving me a chance. I love the cover!!

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  146. Add me please!!! new choice for new author for me
    Kathleen
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  147. So would love to win your book!

    Cheryl B

    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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  148. Would love to win this book.

    Juanita Cook
    seraphinangel7@aol.com

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  149. PATRICIA - thanks for coming by! You can be sure the ladies will be sure you are entered! ;o)

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  150. KATHLEEN! Thank you for giving me a whirl. I hope my story blesses and inspires you. The gals will be sure you are entered.

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  151. REV. KIM JUSTICE - Thanks so much for your interest in The Face of HEaven. I agree with you that they put together a great cover. I liked it at first sight. Blessings!

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  152. CHERYL B & JUANITA COOK - It's great that you took the time to swing by. Thanks so much. You can be sure your names will be entered in the draw. Cheers!

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  153. Oh i am soo looking forward to reading Murray pura's new book 'The Face of Heaven'.....i am a big fan og Murray's ......I read 'The Wings Of Morning'...and I just loved it...and I would love to win a paperback copy of Murray Pura's new book.....The Face of Heaven'.....babyruthmac16@yahoo.com

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  154. EYEBALLLUCY - I love your enthusiasm! Thank you so much for your support & I hope you win big, here or somewhere else, and have a truckload of good books, mine & others, on your shelves this August and fall. Bless you!

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  155. I would love to win one of her books Have read many of her books and would love to win her new one abel.barb@yahoo.com

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  156. THANK YOU ABEL.BARB FOR DROPPING BY! All the best with the draw! Bless you!

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  157. oh, I think I'm too late to enter. thanks so much for sharing such a tragic personal story, Murray, and readers. I too know about depression first hand. Depression is an illness, and God does not send those with cancer or diabetes to hell, so it does not make sense that He would single out those with depression. Bless you!

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  158. RHONDA, you may be too late to enter, but it's never too late to encourage someone. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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