Nancy Rue, The Reluctant Prophet, and a Giveaway
by Jen Hatmaker on December 5th, 2012

Let's see, it's 4:47am, and I've been wide awake since 3:16 for the second night in a row. Dear Jet Lag, how not nice to see you again. I especially appreciate how you are robbing me of sleep but also of all clarity so that these early morning hours are basically useless, as I want to write about Uganda, but I can't seem to string a sentence together yet. Too soon. (Re: "too soon"... see also: Christmas Tree Decoration/Hot Cocoa Fantastic Family Night last night, 20 hours after arriving home, where 4 of the 7 of us had total meltdowns, 1 went to bed crying, 1 went to bed brooding, 2 went to bed fighting, and 1 went to bed babbling like a baby. Awesome.)

So good news, readers! I have someone else's amazing words and ideas to share today that are not contingent upon my personal mental status. You're welcome.

If you haven't already, please meet my friend Nancy Rue. As a wise and prolific author, she was guiding me as I began parenting a tween girl long before I actually got to meet her. Then, two summers ago, at a glorious, intimate writer's retreat with just six of us, I spent an entire week with her. You know you can trust me here: Nancy is profoundly wonderful.
Not only is she a gifted fiction AND nonfiction writer (Really, universe? If she can also sing, I'm pulling out of this unjust lottery), but she is a teeny, tiny bit irreverent hilarious, and well, you know, that's my lane. She has written a stunning trilogy, unpacking all sorts of complicated and difficult issues with grace and wisdom called, "The Reluctant Prophet" (anyone have any clue why I'm drawn to this? No? K.)

Without further ado, please meet my friend, Nancy:

WHEN THE NUDGE DRIVES A WEDGE

I am SO jazzed to be a guest on Jen Hatmaker’s blog! This is a lady I have admired (and been humbled by and challenged by and nudged by) ever since I met her two summers ago. I’ve watched her conscience-pricking, action-inspiring ministry grow as only the real God-things do, and now it’s an honor to be able to bring my community of Nudgees to hers – to you – who share our joy in being nudged by God and our, okay, let’s call it, um, apprehension that where we’re nudged to go is way out of our comfort zone. So thank you, Jen, and all of you.

You’re the third stop on the hop (more on that below) so just to catch you up: we’re talking about the tough questions that the trilogy The Reluctant Prophet sets before us. As in, throws it right in our faces. Today’s is this: What if God’s nudge puts you at odds with your church family – or even your own family for that matter? Do you not agree that Jen is the perfect person to host this question?

In this trilogy, protagonist Allison Chamberlain is Nudged to buy a Harley and go into the darkest part of St. Augustine, Florida, to minister to the prostitutes – as in, bring them into her home, take care of them, take care of one of their kids, provide opportunities for them to deal with their addictions, hold them while they vomit. You get the idea. She’s doing Jesus.

But she’s shocked to discover that the very people who shepherded her when she was a new Christian and have become her family are appalled at what she’s doing. It has, after all, cost Allison her job, gotten her crosswise with the law, and put her in considerable physical danger.  “It’s not going to end well, Allison,” they tell her, “and we wouldn’t be your brothers and sisters in Christ if we didn’t tell you that.”

You have to admit they have a point. They even provide her with information regarding various social services “these people” could turn to, and offer her money to get back on her feet. “We care about you Allison,” one of them says with tears in her eyes.

They have a point, but they don’t get the point: that Allison is doing what she’s called to do. And as a prophet (albeit a reluctant one) she sees even deeper than that. As she says to them after she has invited them to come into her home and see what she and “these people” are doing:

“Oh, wait – you wouldn’t come in my house now because it’s full of people who’ve made huge, ugly mistakes, and even though they’re repentant and forgiven – gosh – you might catch something from them. Like, I don’t know, humility. Courage. Yeah, that would be a whole lot harder than sitting in a pew saying ‘amen.’ Forget my invitation. Pharisees aren’t welcome in our house.”

Okay, so she comes on a little strong. And a little snarky. But here’s the deal – if God’s calling, that call has to be louder than any other voice. Jesus tells us in the Gospel that we’re going to have to put up with all kinds of persecution for his sake.

I had to leave a church that became very sick and was determined to stay that way – and in the process I gave up a group of friends I miss terribly. I had to let a very effective assistant go because we were no longer on the same spiritual page. I’ve been “uninvited” as a speaker when the powers-that-be read my belief statement. I’m taking a risk right now in these five blog hop posts by asking unsettling questions.

You’ve probably made similar sacrifices, or even more soul-wrenching ones that involved sons, daughters, parents, spouses. So what do we do when that happens? Just drift out there alone and hurt – and become prey to self-pity and its buddy self-righteousness?

Wise woman Hank D’Angelo in The Reluctant Prophet trilogy says no. She says, “You still need a community of fellow believers to worship with.” I found one in the very church that inspired these books, St. Augustine’s Chapel at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Allison and Hank created their own. And in the final book of the three, Too Far To Say Far Enough, we see hope that the church can fill both its members needs and the desperate needs of the community.

Besides all that we have to forgive. Because as Hank says, “We’re all a mess.” Perhaps with the grace we’re called on by our Lord Christ to extend, we won’t have to drive that wedge after all.

Um, can you see why I love Nancy and particularly this trilogy? Prostitutes, a love/pull-my-hair-out relationship with the church, and - let's be honest - the Harley: these are my little pet things. Nancy is a trustworthy guide, a fantastic writer, and you should know her.

Now what you have probably been waiting for…winning books!  Nancy’s publisher, David C. Cook is giving away:
  • Reluctant Prophet series (3 books) to 10 winners,
  • PLUS 10 copies of Reluctant Prophet to each winner’s recipient of choice.
Nancy will personally sign each book as well as include a letter with Reluctant Prophet to your person of choice.  Visit here for the Rafflecopter entry form and official rules

If you are joining the hop mid-way through and not sure where to go, here are all the stops for each day.  That way you are able to maximize your entries into the giveaway, as well as capture Nancy’s heart as she wrote this series:
If you would like to connect with Nancy, she can be found here:

Website: www.nancyrue.com
facebook (adult fans): www.facebook.com/nnrue
facebook (for teen fans): www.facebook.com/nnrueforteens
twitter: www.twitter.com/NNRue
pinterest: www.pinterest.com/nnrue
In addition to Nancy’s blog, The Nudge, (for her adult audience), she also has a blog for teens (In Real Life) and for tweens (Tween You and Me)


I really appreciate the question Nancy raises in the story, particularly because it is so reflective of real life. So I ask you, good reader, what if God’s nudge puts you at odds with your church family – or even your own family for that matter? Has this happened in your life? Can you relate? If so, can you share a bit of your story with us?


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36 Comments

Michele - December 5th, 2012 at 8:29 AM
I'm in the middle of this exact thing right now. Feeling a call to do something REAL, but scared to call it out, because of church and family. I am praying for details and courage....lots of courage.
NAncy Rue - December 5th, 2012 at 4:33 PM
Michele. If it's real, you really have no other authentic choice. Butyou're right -- you're going to need courage and lots of it. I'm praying for that for you. Nancy Rue

Krista - December 5th, 2012 at 8:50 AM
I can't wait to read more from Nancy! Keep sharing authors like her, Jen!
Ashley - December 5th, 2012 at 9:03 AM
In a way, yes. He has "nudged" us to leave home, and move a 16 hour drive away, to do...we don't know what yet. I'm freaking a little. Lots of my friends get it, and are supportive. Others, especially family members, not so much. We're taking their grandbabies with us, after all. I don't even talk about it with most people because they can't handle/understand the answers to their questions. Why would you move away from a great community, church, friends and family, to go so far away, when you don't even know why you're going? Because we're nuts, over the edge, in a cult, on the fringes of Christianity. That's why. Is that what you'd like to hear? Obedience is hard, but I know it's so worth it.
Mari - December 5th, 2012 at 9:08 AM
I met you at the Midland, MI Saesons Retreat. I ask Jesue Christ into my life resently and I love the church I am attending. I have been a target for many since I left the Cotholic church. I have basically lost most of my family and I don't know what to do to get them to understand. I was looking for the right way to pray... I want my prayers to be meaningful and not just ramleings I love my new life and I ask that anyone that reads this to say a prayer for certain family members to soften and not be Avery at me for the choice I have made... Peace in Christ ...Mari...
suzanne - December 5th, 2012 at 9:08 AM
Even though we're a part of the most supportive church and extended family ever, God's call for us to be foster parents still inevitably puts us at odds. Even when their concerns are accurate - we have to be responsible to listen to that, but we also have to be faithful. Sometimes that feels overwhelmingly lonely, but we can't not be obedient. I pray that our family and our children can view this whole thing in the light of eternity. Yes, some hard and painful things are parts of our lives now, but this isn't about us. It's about Jesus.
Marti Williams - December 5th, 2012 at 9:09 AM
Thanks, Jen! Can't wait to read her books! I have followed the Spirit's nudges in the past and have learned so much about myself and others in the process. I want more of Him.
michelle - December 5th, 2012 at 9:16 AM
Genesis 12:1 has been the catalyst for change in my life recently. "The Lord had said to Abram, %u201CGo from your country, your people and your father%u2019s household to the land I will show you."
I ended up leaving my country & people (suburban mega-church and many friends who went there). It took me a year to go to the land he showed me (inner city poor tiny church who serves the homeless, prostitutes, released criminals & other marginalized people groups). I realized that in order for me to follow God's call on my life I needed some space and distance to not hear the naysayers in my old church who simply didn't understand. In terms of my immediate family, I've been very honest with them during this entire spiritual "change" and they are not totally surprised by what I'm doing. They also have been very supportive and come with me. I'm praying that this ministry would never be at odds with my role as wife and mother and I'm not really sure what I'd do if I felt like this call put me at odds with them. I pray that never happens.
Karen - December 5th, 2012 at 9:20 AM
God nudged my family and I out of our perfectly fine, content-to-be there church into a church start. We are also foster parents that have taken "questionable" children. Both of which put us at odds with church family and our own family. Sometimes things don't turn out well or like you hope they will and people (mistakenly) assume that you weren't really hearing God when he spoke. But, sometimes he wants us to do the hard things and the things that will go badly for us because there is something he is doing for someone else. My new saying is this, "Just because something is hard doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. It just means that it's hard."
Sharron - December 5th, 2012 at 9:22 AM
Thank you for introducing us to Nancy. I am sort of jumpy right now at not having the books in my hands, you know, immediately.
erin - December 5th, 2012 at 9:25 AM
Absolutely! Just this year God called us out of our church home that has been part of my family for half of my life. I struggled for months but He just kept showing me more and more reasons why we needed to leave...and it got pretty ugly. We were accused of things we did not do, we were told that we were making big things out of little things (like social justice)...which was funny since Jesus Himself made a huge deal about social justice and loving the poor. It was such a hard time for me but God has His purposes and has brought us to this little church that God is doing BIG things thru...and its giving us the opportunity to minister to the very people we believe God has called us to minister to.
Also, this year we made the decision to adopt from Ethiopia which hasn't gone over very well with some of my husbands family. But God called us and we are faithfully answering, knowing that some people may choose to walk away...that's their choice...but hopefully God will bring them around! We don't expect anyone to ever fully understand why we are adopting (or why we had to leave our church)...Gods writing a story in our life though and as long as we are being faithful to His leadership, that's all they need to know.
B. Crump - December 5th, 2012 at 9:38 AM
This is YES!
Alissa - December 5th, 2012 at 9:44 AM
So glad to find this! It speaks right to my heart after leaving our church of 8 years. I can't wait to see if I win...if not, I'll be ordering next week! Thanks Jen!
Sarah - December 5th, 2012 at 9:52 AM
God gave my husband the courage to step away from work and the dream to sail as a family. I was comfortable in our suburbia, upper middle class bubble, but sickened by it. As scared as I was to make the leap, I prayed that God would give me the strength to trust Him. Neither of us were "sailors", so my family was very skeptical and scared. Pirates, perfect storms and cannibal natives swam through their thoughts. How could we risk our children's lives like that? I had to talk them down as I was desperately trying to calm my own fears. But God has been more real to me since we left our comfort zone, and nothing would make me choose boring again. God is teaching us that He is our home and our comfort, no matter where we drop anchor! We are growing close as a couple and a family along the way, and our kids are seeing what it means to trust God and love all kinds of people. It's been a year so far, and God continues to surprise us and provide in all ways.
Tessy - December 5th, 2012 at 9:55 AM
Yes.. I am still trying to figure out the next nudge?! Reading Batterson's book Wild Goose Chase and that is exactly what I feel like I am doing... I have no idea where I will end up. It is nudging me away from family, comforts, my church and everything I ever knew. It is not easy... but I know it is exactly where I need to be.

Right now I am trying to raise $$ for people in the DRC (Congo) who are starving due to the chronic chaos of war and recent fighting in Goma and people are ignoring me and shunning me on facebook. I can't deal with people starving while I sit around sipping hot chocolate "celebrating the birth of Jesus" and accumulating more stuff. I will keep stirring b/c a few are joining me.. and those few well... maybe they will reach a few more.
J S - December 5th, 2012 at 11:15 AM
I'm not sure I've been brave enough...just doing little things that seem to keep getting bigger...
Tiffany - December 5th, 2012 at 11:34 AM
In it right now-newly married and having the desire to give, give, give.....while my husband of 4 months does not have that desire. I now fully understand what people meant when they said serving God is a whole lot easier when you're single. Yup!! Thankfully, God is at work in my husband's heart and I'm delighted and blessed to see God aligning my husband and my hearts together, step by step.
Susie - December 5th, 2012 at 11:48 AM
My nudge is simple GO
But I haven't let myself sit down and think about what that means or looks like because I know - I know I know I know - it will interrupt my cozy, sane, easy, mostly happy, but most of all routine, life.
I cry out to God to move me, I pray that I will get that nudge, but then I don't want to hear the answer. I ignore the answer until it fits into my schedule.
Marilee Marks - December 5th, 2012 at 12:46 PM
I love how God starts us out on his path with a small step and then years later if we are obedient to follow we look back and discover just how far he brought us.
Wendy - December 5th, 2012 at 1:03 PM
We're exactly in that place. After pastoring a small church for 9 years, God called us to leave-withOUT telling us why or what to do next. Like He's never pulled that on anyone else before, right? ;) But there's so much confusion on church member's parts, or rather lack of understanding and support. While we try to figure out how to "do" ministry in a new, non-structured context. He'll show us when it's time, but in the meantime we feel like we're just shuffling along! So thanks for this blog post!
Sharon - December 5th, 2012 at 1:38 PM
I have felt for a while that my husband and I cannot get on the same page with what I feel God is calling me to. I have a testimony (from my life before I met him) that I think could change the course of others lives if only I could share it with them. But, my husband is a super private person and absolutely is not on board with me sharing that part of my life. Out of respect for him, I haven't. I'm just praying that the Lord will change his heart.
Nicole - December 5th, 2012 at 2:28 PM
I find that it's really hard for me to walk in grace when I'm confronted with the "Pharisees." I get so excited and zealous about the things that God is teaching me and when people don't jump on board, I tend to get all "Get behind me Satan!" But because I'm not Jesus, and because I'm very, very weak, I don't do it in a graceful or merciful way. That's been the hardest thing, I think, about "waking up" to the Gospel "nudge."
Joanne - December 5th, 2012 at 2:59 PM
Left our church after 14 yrs about 2 yrs. ago. This sounds like a must read for me.
HeatherS - December 5th, 2012 at 4:00 PM
Oooo Oooo Oooo!! I know! Adopt.....outside of your race.....while u live in a 1200 sq ft apartment with ur 3 bios and 2 big dogs :) Not extreme odds, but def not much understanding
Melanie Johnson - December 5th, 2012 at 7:37 PM
Thank you for introducing us to Nancy. I look forward to reading her books!
Nicole Franks - December 5th, 2012 at 7:53 PM
God called my husband and I to take in a local homeless woman. Our friends thought we were crazy, and "putting our kids and belongings in danger!" One friend told me to call the mega-church down the street to see if THEY could help her. I COULDN'T BELIEVE THE CRAZY coming out of some friend's mouths. I questioned if they had read the same Matthew 25 that we had??

I also do an outreach giving gifts to the strippers in our community. We go into the strip clubs, at night, and hand out gift bags with a card asking them to be our friend. I can't tell you the ugly we hear about how "we are exposing ourselves to such sin," ha! I want to reply, "as if I have never exposed myself to YOUR sin or MY OWN sin." geezy peezy...

I love hearing stories of these. It gives me such hope for the Bride. Man! I am excited to read these books, and keep the fire burning in my heart!!!
Sarah - December 6th, 2012 at 10:29 AM
I'm feeling the nudge to keep saying NO to convention and tradition this Holiday and stop the presents madness... to the confusion of the grandparents and others... Even today, St. NIck's Day, we are following his example and making up bags for the homeless (instead of more stuff for us) who we will be spending time with during Christmas...
Sue - December 6th, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Jen, have just recently become a hige fan - "7" and "Interrputed" and just received "Barefoot Church" in the mail! (Can't wait to read "his" side of the story!) Life changing! Looks like I am about to become a fan of Nancy, also! It is difficult when the Holy Spirit gives you vision your family & church family does not see. Consequently, I am finding myself with "feet" in 2 different bodies - the established church (which is very generous & loving & many deep friendships there) where our family has attended & served for 15 years (one that recognizes its' need to reach out to the community yet is trying to do so by building a bigger, better "mousetrap" to bring people in) and a brand new very small church plant much closer to home that is reaching to the local community in many ways, not just inviting them in. I truly do feel there is a great movement of The Spirit calling God's people out of their comfortable Christianity & into the neighborhoods. We are finally getting it!!!
Jennifer M. - December 6th, 2012 at 1:13 PM
Thanks for the chance to win! I loved the first book and can't wait to read the other two!
Gloria - December 6th, 2012 at 2:00 PM
So glad to be introduced to these books and this author. Thank you!
C - December 6th, 2012 at 8:51 PM
Yup, got the nudge. Adopted a 7 year old child from Africa almost 3 years ago. Tough tough behaviors to work with...it feels like 2 steps forward, 3 back. It's been the toughest, most challenging 3 years of my life. Tons of judgment from those watching, cuz you know that you if love 'em enough, that'll change it all. I hear that I'm doing it wrong, I should love more, I should be able to figure this out , I'm too tough, I'm too soft, I'm not enough. Some days I just wonder how I keep breathing in & out. But under it all, I know that this is a privilege. A divine calling. Scares the crap out of me, but I'm learning that I don't have to be enough. When I am weak, then He is strong. I see the parallels of my own relationship with the Lord in our adoption road, and I wonder why He doesn't sometimes give me a good swift kick. I'm grateful to be chosen - this road is our privilege to walk. And some days, I can say it with a straight face.
Angelica - December 6th, 2012 at 9:59 PM
So glad a friend introduced me to your writing. God has been moving in my life through a precept study of James. Everywhere I turn I hear "widows and orphans". I know God is leading my family to live counter cultural and even though I don't know what exactly that means for us I am excited and will feed "Him" and clothe "Him" as we follow him to radical life.
Nancy Rue - December 7th, 2012 at 9:26 AM
I have LOVED being part of this blog this week. Loved it! This is a place where I intend to hang out a lot from now on. Thank you, amazing Jen Hatmaker!!!!
Elizabeth - December 10th, 2012 at 8:39 PM
Wow! I read the every book in the Lily series like 5 million times when I was in elementary school! I always wondered where the author went. Here she is!
Lara Johndrow - December 11th, 2012 at 8:34 PM
Seriously? This just went down in my home not 2 hours ago:
Husband: I invited this kid that just got out of jail to stay here.
Me: You did WHAT?
Husband: I invited this kid that just got out of jail to stay here.
Me: That was a rhitorcial question genious, what on earth were you thinking? In our home, around our kids, around our things?? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??
Husband: I was thinking that it is something that Jesus would do.
Me: Clearly you have been listening in church, and I have not. I will let you lead, but I will be putting my jewelry away.

Okay, so the last part was a little rude, but hey, I am still human! So tonight I go against what two of my friends say is best and I am allowing him in my home. They say we are crazy, I say we are being the hands and feet, no matter how uncomfortable!
Name - March 12th, 2013 at 12:18 PM
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