Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Something That Lasts by James David Jordan

As I said on another blog, I like to know who the author is when I read a book. This one has been in our church library for several years, and even though I had read it before, it made a bigger impression on me this time than when I read it the first time.

I learned by searching the internet that the author grew up as a minister's son. (My dad was a preacher, too). He is now an attorney in Dallas and has written two other books--a series--Forsaken, 2008, and Double Cross, 2009. He is a writer of Christian mystery/suspense. I cannot find any books he has written since 2009.

Something That Lasts was Jordan's first novel and it was not suspense, it was about a minister, David Parst, who had an affair and lost everything in his life that mattered. He was pastor of a church in O'Fallon, Missouri, when, Erika, an attractive woman, set out to get him. She did, at the expense of her husband's life, and Parst's family. Erika's husband stood up in church one evening and announced that his wife and the pastor were having an affair, then he killed himself on the sidewalk in front of the church. The pastor's wife and his son were in attendance at the church service, but they packed up and left him that night.

This happened early in the book. The ensuing pages told about David's wife, Sarah, and his son, Jack. Jack was devastated and hated his dad for what he did. After Jack grew up and married Katie, he still could not forgive his father. So this is a three-generational story, similar to the sagas I used to read by Barbara Bradford and other secular authors, but better, because of the Christian overtones.

David eventually became a pastor again, but remained forever alone. He kept in touch with his family without their knowledge, and one day they made contact again. Many life events were narrated as Jack refused to come to grips with his feelings of hatred for his father, and his disillusionment at God for letting bad things happen. All that had to be worked through as other things happened in the lives and marriage of Jack and Katie, who was a committed Christian. One event was the devastating loss of a child. Jack could not believe that God loved him when all these bad things had happened.

As the wife of a pastor, I have been acquainted with Christian men who gave in to sexual temptation and ruined their lives and the lives of others as David Parst did. I have known others who did not yield, even though they were tempted, and their influence for God continued.

I think you will be happy with the ending of this novel, even though there is a lot of sorrow in it. I've read the last chapter, and God wins. However, the pleasure is in reading this book and seeing how He does it.

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