Meet Nike Chillemi, crime novelist:
Like so many writers, Nike Chillemi started writing at a very young age. She still has the Crayola, fully illustrated book she penned (penciled might be more accurate) as a little girl about her then off-the-chart love of horses. Today, you might call her a crime fictionista. Her passion is crime fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad and her good guys smarter and better.
She is the founding board member of the Grace Awards and is its Chairman, a reader's choice awards for excellence in Christian fiction. She writes book reviews for The Christian Pulse online magazine. She was an Inspy Awards 2010 judge in the Suspense/Thriller/Mystery category and a judge in the 2011 and 2012 Carol Awards in the suspense, mystery, and romantic suspense categories. BURNING HEARTS, the first book in the crime wave that is sweeping the south shore of Long Island in The Sanctuary Point series, finaled in the Grace Awards 2011 in the Romance/Historical Romance category. GOODBYE NOEL, the second book in the series released in December, 2011 won the Grace Award 2011 in the Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category. PERILOUS SHADOWS, third in the series released July, 2012, and DARKEST HOUR, the fourth in the series released in February, 2013. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers (Ning). http://nikechillemi.wordpress.com/
Appreciating Our Pastors
By Nike Chillemi
Many Christians seem not to realize that one of the ways we hear from the Lord is through the five-fold ministry. So many in the pews say they need to hear from the Lord. It seems strange, yet some seem to overlook the fact that God speaks to them through their pastors.
The Lord uses pastors all over the world as His mouthpiece to direct, guide, and motivate the body of Christ. If we all went to church purposing in our hearts to hear a word from God through our pastors, I'm sure something wonderful would take place. We'd hear words of direction, words of correction, words of inspiration, words of motivation, and words of impartation. And I'll bet we'd be able to hear the voice of God better when we're not in church.I believe it is God's plan for believers to hear Him through our preachers. I see this Romans 10: 13-14 [NASB] -- for Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
This is how I know it's God's plan that we hear His voice through our pastors. It really matters how we view our pastors and respond to their preaching. Everyone likes to be appreciated and so do pastors.
One of the things I enjoyed tremendously was writing the character of Pastor Lenz Dobak in the first book in the Sanctuary Point mystery series, BURNING HEARTS. Pastor Dobak leads the tiny Bay Chapel with its poor and mainly immigrant congregation. He is always there as a support for his flock in times of trouble and delights in speaking about his own formation in the faith. He's a true man of God.
The principle of hearing God's Word through our pastors is so much more than, "thus sayeth the Lord." I think of church as a boot camp, a laboratory, a school-room, a training ground. We gather together in church to partake of the Word of God as it is preached. In this day, in this hour, especially, believers need to be tuned into the Word of God more than ever before. I believe we need to come to church expecting to hear the Word of God from our pastors. This will better equip us for what we will have to face in these last days.
The purchase links for Burning Hearts.
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/12nzjUY