Review by Roy D. Wallen

Here are some extracts from Roy’s review of The Point:

The blurb on the back of this edition claims reminders of Bunyan, Lewis, Donne, and Milton. While it is easy to scoff at such lofty aspirations, as I did, this claim is not far off the mark. One could even argue that there is a bit of Tolkein mixed with the author’s own sense of story-telling … [I]t has all the elements of a classic and only time will tell if it lives up to that aspiration.
This is a book to be read, savored, enjoyed, and used as a source of meditation, and reflection. We can only hope that there will be sequels.

The rest of the review can be read on Amazon.

Say What? Google’s Patenting a Throat Tattoo?

According to a post this week by CNN, that appears to be the shape of things to come—a high-tech tattoo has been designed for the human neck.

“The patent says the tattoo would communicate with smartphones, gaming devices, tablets and wearable tech like Google Glass via a Bluetooth-style connection and would include a microphone and power source” (source).

So what’s actually happening here? Is the tattoo much ado about nothing, or is it a symbol signifying matters of greater import?

It would seem the word yes is a better bet than no, but okay, is it good or bad? In many respects, that’s not the question. It is. The tattoo is a sign of what’s come to be, or soon will be.

What’s obvious is this—there is something most significant going on in our larger human sphere. What it is ain’t exactly clear.

The tattoo-revelation is more than a bit of isolated high-tech news. Last week, Twitter made its début on the New York Stock Exchange. Twitter’s messaging was clear, the company has a mission. The aim is to make Twiter the “real life companion” for the 2.4 billion people now connected via the internet.

The question is what does all this mean? What does this companion for real life have to say about your life, and mine? Do we simply say, ‘Cool’? It seems that issues of selfworth must arise, mingled in with the wonder of tweets and tattoos.

The medium is the message. The form of any object bears an implicit message. In the case of some objects, widespread aspirations arise; worldviews adjust. We see ourselves in ways not seen before.

One of the major themes in the Estillyen work is media—its impact on life. While the Estillyen monks do not advance a negative view of media, they do offer a kind of questioning commentary, on what it means to navigate for meaning in a world of mediated messages. They have much so say about the swirl of words, images and sounds.

The Estillyen monks also have a unique way of drilling down on words that matter most. Sometimes, they do so with a stoke of humor. This is clearly seen in the way they have devloped the character of Lucifer, and incorported his role in their readings. The monks have even given Lucifer a signature song titled, Happenstance and Chance. The opening lines read:

Happenstance and chance. Flow and flap.

Say what you wish and will, old chap.

Mix up your words. Swirl ’em around;

don’t get precise when you jot them down!

I would argue our new age of mediating messages is a matter of great import, as great as any faced in the world today. The issues surrounding this topic will only compound and mount in the years ahead.

The Estillyen message flows towards introspection and stilling, towards words that help us grasp human worth. So important is this message. Human beings have an inate desire to center in a message; we long for story, not for words in bits and pieces.

Official News Release for ‘The Point’

ALRNewsRelease

FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:                                                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A. Larry Ross Communications
Katie Martin: 972.267.1111 / Katie@alarryross.com

New Genre-busting Novel ‘The Point’ Addresses Power of Words and Tells Story of Redemption William Jefferson’s style reminiscent of the classic writing of Lewis and Tolkien

Image of the the front cover of the book 'The Point: The Redemption of Oban Ironbout' by William JeffersonDALLAS, Texas, Oct. 3, 2013 – “The Point: The Redemption of Oban Ironbout” is unlike any fiction available on the market today. Its messages of redemption and the power of words seem to belong in the work of C.S. Lewis or J.R.R. Tolkien.

Author William Jefferson did not intend to write a novel. After a career helping to guide the communications of various ministries, including the Billy Graham Evangelical Association and The American Bible Society, he wanted to share what he had learned about the power of words.

Jefferson wrote 12 “readings” based on Scripture narratives. These readings, found in their entirety in “Redemption: Twelve Readings from the Monks of Estillyen,” focus on how God messaged redemption to the world. While Jefferson originally intended these readings to appear in a short theology book, he realized there was a greater story to be told.

The voice that emerged through Jefferson’s writings seemed to belong to a different era and a unique setting. He began to imagine a place of reflection and discussion overseen by an order of monks grappling with the same messages. Through the characters who surfaced in his imagination, Jefferson was able to say far more than he could ever hope to say without them, and his nonfiction theological treatise was soon being delivered through a fictional storyline.

“I was delighted to let the monks take ownership of my work,” Jefferson said. “The other Estillyen characters simply emerged, so that readers could go along this journey with me – the monks of Estillyen offering my thoughts as readings to be discussed in group settings.”

“The Point” tells the story of newlyweds Hollie and Goodwin MacBreeze, who travel to the Isle of Estillyen searching for meaning. There they encounter a magical world full of hope and timeless truths shared by an ancient order of monks.

Through mysterious circumstances, Hollie and Goodwin encounter a lonely recluse named Oban Ironbout. The MacBreezes believe that Oban is not past redemption, despite his gruff appearance. Through the readings provided by the monks, the young couple tries to introduce Oban to the hope they have found on the Isle of Estillyen

“Estillyen is a place where the pace of life slows down so you can really think about issues,” Jefferson said. “My hope is that readers will create their own ‘Isle of Estillyen’ – a place where they can stop to learn and listen. Estillyen doesn’t have to be a fictional place. The miracles of Estillyen can happen in each individual’s life.”

“The Point” and “Redemption” are available for purchase at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Media interested in an audio news release on the point can find it here: http://www.icontact-archive.com/qK00MtAktlcjotRUQmFCp_RmDOzVepTc?w=3

For more information on “The Point” or “Redemption,” please visit http://alarryross.com/newsroom/the-point/.

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Note to Editors: For a review copy of “The Point” or an interview with William Jefferson, please contact Katie Martin of A. Larry Ross Communications at 972.267.1111 or Katie@alarryross.com.

Inspiration Behind “The Point” and “Redemption”

Take a look behind the scenes of “The Point” and “Redemption” with author William Jefferson, and learn more about the thoughts that led to the creation of these two wonderful stories. Here is an excerpt:

“Part of my aim in developing the Estillyen content was to move beyond the traditional focus on revelation and explore more intentionally the subject of God as the Revealer.”

The entire text of this piece can be found here.

Review by Donna Cosmato

Here are some extracts from Donna’s review of ‘Redemption’:

From the introduction, which gives you a hint of words as thought messengers to the final appendix, which contains in-depth biographies of each monk, the format of this book makes you feel like you are sipping wisdom from an ancient tome painstakingly complied by generations of monks rather than reading a contemporary work of fiction by a modern day author.”
This book has an appeal that can span generations and genders. It is reminiscent of works by allegoric writers such as C.S. Lewis or John Bunyan, but with an ease of understanding and a literary melody that is not present in those other works.”

The full review can be found on the Christian Education Plus website.