28 September 2014

Love One Another by Elizabeth Camden

Author Elizabeth Camden

Above all, love one another.

Thanks for asking me back, Carrie. I always love the insight I get from your author interviews. Instead of talking about handling a major crisis, I want to celebrate one of the simplest of biblical verses, and one that has brought me great comfort over the past year.

1 Peter 4:8  Above all, love one another deeply.

If I were the type of person to get a tattoo, this is the phrase I would use! It is beautiful in its simplicity, yet so powerful and all-encompassing in its message.

I have two step-daughters who are recent college graduates. I am afraid they have drunk deeply from the well of victim-mentality and the tendency to demonize those from the opposite side of their political viewpoint. This is a sadly common phenomenon on college campuses (I know, I’m a college professor in my day job!) I think this attitude is terribly destructive, and I’ve been urging them to try to extend compassion not only to people they agree with, or deem “worthy” of compassion, but to everyone.  Yes, that includes the jerk who whistles rude catcalls as they walk past a construction site. We don’t know what his story is, what weakness, insecurities, boredom, or poor parenting he came from. Jesus’s command to love one another includes that construction worker.

This phrase was with me as I wrote With Every Breath, which features a number of secondary characters who suffer from tuberculosis, a once fatal and highly contagious disease. In the 19th century it was common to blame TB victims for their plight, as they were often the poor, the prostitutes, and the people living in inner city slums. Yes, the command extends to them as well.

It is difficult to watch the news these days that is filled with so much political turmoil, racial incidents that spiral out of control, wife abuse, etc. Above all, love one another deeply!  This does not mean you must approve of the actions, but anger and demonizing the opposition has not been working to well in solving the incidents I am referring to. Step back, take a breath, and try to understand the other side. They may be wrong. In many cases, they certainly are…but it is hard to truly solve these problems without trying to understand our fellow man. (I hear my step-daughters angrily objecting to that turn of phrase. Fellow man! How sexist! Yes….but I’m a writer and the poetry of language means something to me…. I ask my beautiful, talented, but angry young daughters to understand my need for poetic license.) 

Above all, love one another!  This is the first phrase I think of when I’ve run into frustrations over the past year, be it from a snide insurance adjuster, problems at work, or a student angry at a grade I’ve assigned. Above all, love one another.

Honestly…one of these day, if I ever get that tattoo…..




Mini Bio: Elizabeth Camden is a professor and research librarian at a small college in central Florida. Her novel Against the Tide won the coveted RITA and Christy Award. She has also written four nonfiction history books for the academic market. It was her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband near Orlando, Florida.

She regularly posts about the joys of the book world at http://elizabethcamden.com/blog

Her books are available at all online stores, as well as Christian bookstores and most brick and mortar major bookstores.



 Giveaway: We're giving away a copy of Elizabeth's latest release or choice of any of her books to one commenter this week. Come back and check the upper right hand corner of the blog to see if you have won (allow up to ten days.)

45 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for visiting with us this week, Elizabeth! Please don't get a tattoo! It's enough to have that tattooed on your heart. Thanks for this wonderful post, reminding us of what is really important. Love. God bless!

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    1. LOL! I love the idea of tattooing on the heart! Now if I can only convince the college students of this!

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  2. Above all, love one another! I do need to remember that when people are so rude! Thank you for the reminder :)

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  3. LOL I'm with Carrie -- no tattoos! Welcome to OWG, ELIZABETH! I was reminded of that old song while reading your wonderful testimony, "What the world needs now, is love sweet love -- it's the only thing that there's just too little of..."
    What a different world it would be if everyone had the love of Jesus in their heart one towards another. And Christians of all people should be prime examples of that love! So often we use our Christianity to judge people instead of loving them. Lord, help us to walk in love!

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  4. ELIZABETH welcome once again to OWG! Thank you for the reminder of how we are supposed to act toward others.....it's so much easier to love the lovable ones; the grumpy ones not so much! :-) I promise I do try my best to love everyone!

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    1. I'm no expert on loving the unlovable ones either.... but the simple phrase has been helping!

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  5. Wonderful interview with Elizabeth! Elizabeth, thank you for pointing us toward LOVE. Lord, I pray that you would grant us ALL revelation of Your Love. Thank you OWG for hosting Elizabeth. Blessings.

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    1. I'm just lucky that Carrie keeps asking me back! Thanks for your kind words, Caryl...

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  6. Well said. I read through this twice.

    I'm not one for tattoos, but the words hold true.

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    1. Ditto! I keep wondering if the tattoo trend will ever fade....because the tattoos themselves certainly will!

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  7. Nice interview, Carrie. I hear so much compassion in Elizabeth's words and I'd dearly love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win a fabulous gift.

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    1. Elizabeth did a great job with this guest post, Barb. I hear that, too! You are welcome! This book is great!

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    2. Thanks for your kind words, Barbara!

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  8. Great interview! "Love one another" is certainly a message we can't hear too often. I can't wait to read "With Every Breath". :) Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

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    1. I really loved that Elizabeth picked this topic for her post, Gwen! You will love this book!

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  9. "Above all, love one another." This is a great reminder, even for those of us who should know this! It sounds so simple, but is often hard to put into practice. I'm glad we can rely on God's help for this.
    I enjoy Elizabeth's books so it's especially nice to hear from her this week and to have a chance to win one of her books.
    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thanks for reading, Pam! I'm still a little amazed that after years of writing in lonely isolation, there are actually folks out there reading my books!

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  10. No words can say that any better, Love One Another. Yes, sometimes it came be hard, very, very true!

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    1. Amen, Sonja! The more I think of the phrase, the better my day usually goes!

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  11. They will know we are Christians by our LOVE! (even if we tattoo it on our forehead!! wink wink) The first Scripture that ministered to me, back in the "dark ages" when I was 12 was Matthew 5:43-48, "Love your enemies, bless those that curse you!" now m'wanna copy of this book!!
    ~ Robin E. Mason
    http://robinsnest212.wordpress.com/

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  12. I love this post! Totally agree with Elizabeth about LOVE!! I have enjoyed several of her books and am anxious to read this one. Thanks for the giveaway!
    jacsmi75 at gmail dot com

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  13. Great interview! I read an ARC copy and loved it. Elizabeth has impressive female protagonists in her novels. As well I love the unusual historical aspect she includes such as the medical treatment of TB.

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    1. Thanks for reading the ARC, Mary! God bless the advance reviewers....for it is so hard to get a little traction in this industry, and folks like you and Carrie really help!

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  15. I have read a few of Elizabeth Camden's books and have loved them all. I would really be excited to win this one, which would give me a new perspective of her writing. Here's hoping....

    (wandrnlady(at)aol.com)

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  16. The cover of this book is so attractive. I can't wait to read it!

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    1. Thanks Kate.... I got lucky in the cover department with this one!

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  17. Hello,
    We can't say enough these days about the power and importance of love. Thank you. I am still basking in the brief conversation I had with you at ACFW conference about Into the Whirlwind at the dinner table one evening. Thanks for granting me an unsolicited interview :)!

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    1. It was wonderful meeting you, Jacqueline.... I always find conferences a little stressful, but you had such a wonderful, gentle demeanor and you made that lunch very special!

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  18. I'm excited to read this because I learned some about TB and medical treatment when I was studying to be an occupational therapist. The professor said that TB was so common back then that it was required that all students do an internship working in TB. How things have changed except for the fact that I have to get a yearly Mantoux so that I can work with patients!

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    1. Hi Elise..... I always love doing the research for books, and TB was such a fascinating, terrible disease.... most fatal diseases are, but at least this is one that is now fading into the distance.

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  19. Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your heart on this subject. I so very much agree with you! I also find myself very often going back to that verse these days. I suspect there were just as strong of opinions and political differences among the people Jesus encountered 2,000 years ago as there are today. After all, if we agreed with everyone on everything, Jesus wouldn't have needed to command us to love each other!. It's easy to love those we already agree with.

    I love your books, and I can't wait to read your latest!

    Lisa
    followsjc(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Lisa..... YES! Amen! If it was easy, Jesus wouldn't have been so adamant to remind us so often!

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  20. Welcome to OWG, Elizabeth, and thank you so much for sharing on this topic! I sure know God had a hand in that as I really needed to hear this confirmation today after the last few days! ;) Isn't it amazing how it's often the simplest of biblical advice that we often need reminding of? It's not an easy thing to do for sure, but with Christ working through us, we can do what is normally a difficult thing. Blessings!

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    1. I'm glad it helped, Noela.... what I like about this phrase is how EASY it is to remember. I'm always amazed at folks who have mountains of biblical verses memorized, but that's never been me. I like them sweet, simple, and widely applicable. LOVE ONE ANOTHER almost never goes wrong!

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  21. Loved your post, Elizabeth - thank you so much!! I heartily agree with all of your comments.

    None of us is perfect, however - I made several unnecessary, bad choices in my younger years, before allowing God control of my life, which have had life-long repercussions - events in my childhood prompted those choices also. They - along with God's grace - have made me the person I am, and better able to look beyond the external appearances of people, to the internal issues and life's problems that may have contributed to their current situation/views/choices. They are people who need the witness from Christians of a loving God - something not easily accomplished with a critical attitude.

    Love, God's love, heals everything!! We, as Christians, should be the first to love the seemingly unlovable - regardless of whether they are in accordance with our own views!!

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie.... beautifully stated!

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  22. I certainly enjoyed your post Elizabeth and you certainly chose a timely topic. Loving those who are hard to love is commanded. I figure if Christ loved me in the state I was in when He saved me, it's the least I can do others. But I know from experience that gets so much easier the older and wiser one gets :) Your book's cover in captivating! I'm putting it on my to-be-read list :) Thanks for having Elizabeth, Carrie! Blessings from Texas!

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    1. You're right about this getting easier as one gets older.... I guess we get more perspective? Or less desperate? Kinder? I don't know.... but the simplicity of the passage has always appealed to me. Thanks for putting me on your TBR list!

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  23. I would buy this book based on the cover alone. It is amazing! I volunteer in my church library and have for 35 years.
    Our webpage is www.churchatthemall.com/library
    Thanks for giving me the chance to win your book.
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Library Lady..... Yup, I was lucky with the cover design this time! The book is set in Washington DC, hence the columns. They certainly give a lovely dimension to the cover.

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