The Reason

( 104 )

Overview

When facing the impossible, will you believe?

Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas Church flicker . . . and then go out.

All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church?s large wooden cross?leaving it ablaze and splintered in two.

When the storm ends?the search for answers ...

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Overview

When facing the impossible, will you believe?

Storm clouds gather over a small Michigan town. As thunder shakes the sky, the lights inside St. Thomas Church flicker . . . and then go out.

All is black until a thick bolt of lightning slices the sky, striking the church’s large wooden cross—leaving it ablaze and splintered in two.

When the storm ends—the search for answers begins.

James Lindy, the church’s blind minister, wonders how his small congregation can repair the cross and keep their faith in the midst of adversity. And he hears the words “only believe.”

Macey Lewis, the town’s brilliant young oncologist, is drawn to Alex, a young boy who’s recently been diagnosed with an aggressive leukemia. She puts her hope in modern medicine—yet is challenged to “only believe.”

And Alex’s single mom, who has given everything she can to her boy, is pleading with God to know the reason this is happening . . . to save her son. But she only hears silence and wonders how she can possibly “only believe.”

The Reason is a milestone debut novel, opening with a thunderbolt and never letting up as it introduces us to everyday characters who are wrestling with the questions: Where is God when bad things happen? And does God ignore the prayers of the faithful? The answer each character receives will astound readers while offering an unforgettable call to hope, to change, to . . . only believe.

“This is a skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author.” —Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sirls conceived this, his first novel, before he was imprisoned for wire fraud and money laundering. After his release, he attempted to self-publish a much altered version, and an advance copy landed on a desk at Thomas Nelson, who signed the author to a multibook contract. The novel has a strong spiritual element. When a lightning bolt shatters a decorative cross in the yard of a church in a small town in Michigan, a carpenter shows up to repair it. But the carpenter is no ordinary man, as the church pastor, his odd family, and local medical staff treating his adoptive grandchild for leukemia find out in a series of miraculous events that change them dramatically. Sirls relates a parable about characters who discover where God is when they suffer and when people die. This is a skillfully written first novel with the narrative voice, knack for dialogue, and plot movement of a veteran author. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“From the first page of The Reason, my heart was captured. It is truly a rare and precious gift that could change the way people believe and live out their faith.”
— Kelly Riether, review specialist for major book retailer
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401687366
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 171,955
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Once a senior vice president in a large investment firm, William Sirls was incarcerated in 2007 for wire fraud and money laundering. Life lessons involving faith, grace, and forgiveness are evident in his writing.The Sinners’ Garden is his second novel. His first novel, The Reason, was published in 2012.William makes his home in southern Michigan and you can reachhim at WilliamSirls.com.

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Read an Excerpt

THE REASON


By William Sirls

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Complete Curriculum, LLC
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8737-3


Chapter One

It was the second time in a little under fifteen minutes that the power had gone out at the church, and it was noticeably darker this time. Almost too dark, for the hour.

Brooke paused—waiting for the lights to come back on as they had before—and stared at the three strange shadows that hovered against the fellowship hall's vaulted ceiling. Something about them seemed alive.

She glanced over at her five-year-old son, Alexander, and lowered her earbuds, noticing the howling wind had stopped. "You okay, buddy?"

"I'm not even scared," Alex said bravely. He gave her a reassuring smile and waved the small rag he liked to use when he helped his mother dust.

Brooke turned off her iPod and then pressed the vacuum's power button a few times. Nothing happened. She shook her head and looked back up at the ceiling. The shadows had somehow become one.

The weatherman on the morning news had said they may be getting some storms, but when she, Alex, and Charlie had come up from the house to clean, only plump, white clouds and a relatively bright sun filled the southeast Michigan sky. But it had been windy. Really windy.

And now the wind was gone.

"It's too dark," Alex whispered. "Charlie is gonna be scared."

"He'll be okay, baby," she said. "The lights will come back on soon."

"But the sky just did some big thunder," Alex said. "You couldn't hear it with your music on your head."

That changes things.

"Charlie!" she yelled, taking Alex's hand and heading quickly across the room toward the tall double doors that separated them from the sanctuary.

Even though Charlie was thirty-eight years old and big as a tree, thunder absolutely terrified him. Even with his familiarity with the church, all his safe places had surely been erased by the darkness and terror flooding his small mind.

She opened the doors and walked into the sanctuary. It was dark, but not nearly as dark as the fellowship hall. It was perfectly quiet.

"Charlie?" Brooke said, glancing up toward the front of the church. She heard nothing but could feel Alex pulling on her pant leg.

"Look, Mom," he said.

She turned, and her eyes followed his little index finger, pointing at the two paned glass doors that served as the main entrance. Brooke squinted and cocked her head to the side. She had never seen the sky that color before.

She took his hand again, walked to the doors, then leaned against one to push it open.

It was deadly still outside. The air was thick and had a strange smell to it. The clouds were now a dark gray and the sky behind them an eerie crayon green, casting down a steady shadow of the same color over everything she could see.

"We better take cover," Brooke whispered, holding the door. She gazed out at the fifteen-foot wooden cross, centered on the church's front lawn. Beyond the woods, she could hear spirited rolls of thunder approaching off the shore of Lake Erie. There was no way in the world Charlie would have ever come out here, let alone try to make it over to the house.

"I want to go back inside," Alex said, letting go of his mother's hand and wrapping his arms around her leg.

Brooke took a deep breath and tilted her head up again to stare at the sky, wondering how much time they had. She looked down the hill at the house, which now seemed so far away. More thunder sounded in the distance. Louder this time.

"Charlie!" Alex shouted. There was panic in his small voice.

Brooke looked back over her shoulder into the church. She leaned her head against the door and waited for Charlie to jump up from between two pews, as he'd done hundreds of times before during hide-and-seek.

"He won't come out, Mom," Alex said. "You know how he is when he's scared."

"He has to be around here somewhere," Brooke said, taking one more look outside. She picked her son up and stepped back into the church, letting the door close behind them. "We have to find him fast, Alex."

She walked along the length of the back pew and stopped when they hit the center aisle. Brooke could see the push sweeper lying on the floor up near the pulpit. Charlie had obviously abandoned it when he heard the first hint of thunder.

Brooke put Alex back on his feet and tried to listen for Charlie.

She looked back at the main entrance. It had clearly gotten darker, and beyond the door's plated glass, lightning flickered gently, as if God were flashing the porch light for someone who had just missed his driveway.

"Charlie!" Brooke yelled again.

"Charlie!" Alex echoed.

They turned and slowly made their way up the main aisle, taking turns calling Charlie's name and looking for him in the darkness between the pews.

"Maybe he did make it down to the house," Brooke said, glancing back at the front doors. The sky had gone from green to black.

They both flinched at the thick volley of thunder that coincided with a flash of lightning, like an X-ray of the church's front lawn.

"I don't like this," Alex said, sounding on the verge of tears.

"It's okay," she said, still staring at the front doors. She held her hand out behind her for Alex to take. He didn't.

"I'm over here," Alex whispered.

Brooke turned around and could barely see him. He was nothing more than a small shadow kneeling in the pew. "What are you doing?"

"Praying we find Charlie."

Brooke kneeled next to him and struggled to slow her breathing. Please, Lord, keep us safe. She put her arm around Alex and pulled him closer. She could feel his little heart pounding against her palm.

Alex squeezed her arm and closed his eyes as she pulled him closer still. She kissed the top of his head as a violent peal of thunder boomed directly over the church.

"No!" Alex cried.

"Let's go," Brooke said, taking Alex's hand. As they rose, she thought she heard something over the rain. It was dark, but she could vaguely make out some of the shadows around them. The pews. The dim outlines of windows. A stack of rarely used folding chairs against the wall. They stepped into the aisle, and Brooke proceeded to look mechanically to her left, then to her right, her head's slowly shifting movements reminding her of a low-end security camera.

She saw little, but she definitely heard something. Charlie. He was crying. But the sound of him was drowned out by thunder so loud it reverberated in her chest, and by the wind that had finally returned with a vengeance.

"Make it stop!" Alex begged, grabbing hold of her leg again.

She turned to comfort him and looked outside. Another finger of lightning darted across the grounds, and Brooke flinched as the entire front lawn disappeared into a brilliant flash of reddish-orange light. It was gone before she could shield her eyes, and the deafening blast that followed shook the building, sending them both instinctively to the floor. She draped her arms around Alex. He was trembling, and she didn't blame him. Whatever had just happened outside was unlike anything she had ever seen or heard. They needed better cover—to get out of this big space.

"Charlie!" she yelled, quickly standing and then picking up Alex. "Where are you?"

There was no response.

"What if he's hurt?" Alex cried.

"What in the world?" she said.

"Do you see him, Mom?"

Brooke squinted at the glass of the front doors.

Something was burning outside. Flames seemed to float in the dark about ten feet in the air, then rapidly weakened under the assault of the constant rain.

"What's that?" Alex asked. As he spoke, the last of the fire went out.

"I think it was the cross," she answered.

"Oh no," Alex said, like a concerned old man. He leaned his head on her shoulder. "Please, let's hurry. Let's find him."

She raised her finger to her lips, gently requesting that he be quiet. As they waited and listened for Charlie, all Brooke could hear was the continuous tapping of the rain on the windows.

"A car's coming," Alex said. Headlights made their way up into the parking lot of the small church.

"It has to be Shirley and Pastor Jim," she whispered. A peculiar clicking sound came from the other side of the building, restoring the power.

Only two of seven lights were on in the sanctuary, offering them no real improvement in their ability to see Charlie, but they both breathed a little easier.

"I like that better," Alex said.

"Me too, little man."

"Can you turn the rest on, Mom?"

"Sure," she said. They heard a humming sound coming from somewhere in the building and looked at each other.

"What's that noise?" Alex asked.

"I think it's the vacuum cleaner over in the fellowship hall. I must've left it on when we lost power."

Alex smiled and she kissed the top of his head again. There was more thunder, but it seemed to be fading. The storm was easing away, and now Brooke was sure she could hear Charlie.

"I hope the dumb lights stay on this time," Alex said. "I wish they—"

"Shh," Brooke said, moving slowly toward the front of the church. One dome light cast a peacefully soothing glow over the altar, an old Wurlitzer piano, and a hand-carved pulpit.

She tilted her head and lifted her hand. She definitely heard someone sniffle.

"We need to find Charlie," Alex said, as if she'd forgotten.

"We just did," Brooke said, running her hand through Alex's bright-red hair. Charlie was up in the nave, lying down between the last two pews, where the choir sat. All she could see of him was the white, size twenty-one tennis shoes on the carpet, sticking out past the end of the bench.

Brooke carried Alex up to the choir stalls and stepped into the row in front of Charlie's hiding spot. She lowered Alex to stand on the seat cushion above Charlie, and they both leaned over and looked down.

Charlie Lindy was perfectly still, flat on his back, with his eyes closed and his hands over his ears.

"There you are, big guy," Brooke said. "It's okay, Charlie."

Alex started giggling. "You big fraidy cat, Charlie!"

"It's okay, Charlie," Brooke repeated softly. "The storm is about over."

Charlie opened his eyes and looked up at them. Thunder rumbled in the distance, and he immediately shut them again.

"It's all right," she said assuredly. "It's going away."

Charlie reluctantly opened his eyes again, and they shifted quickly from side to side. He slowly sat up and lowered his hands from his ears. He smiled at Brooke and pointed at the light switch behind her.

"You got it, big guy," she said.

"You're a big fraidy cat!" Alex laughed, jumping up and down while holding out his arms for Charlie to take him.

"I think we were all afraid," Brooke said soothingly as she turned to switch on more lights.

"No!" Alex yelled, his voice echoing off the church's painted white brick walls.

Brooke spun around and found herself staring straight into Charlie's barrel-like chest. His right arm extended firmly out to his side like a thick branch. At the end of that limb, two feet above her head, Alex dangled helplessly facedown as Charlie's mammoth hand held him by the backside of his tiny Levi's. She smiled and put her hands on her hips.

"Okay!" Alex shouted again, followed by a playful giggle. "Okay, Charlie! You're not a fraidy cat!"

Charlie grinned and effortlessly flipped Alex upright to sit on his enormous shoulders. Alex balanced himself by hanging on to one handful of the giant man's cropped blond hair and another handful of his left ear. Charlie's oversized fingers wrapped carefully around the boy's thigh to hold on to him. His other hand slowly lifted, opened, and then revealed a single Tic Tac, which Alex gratefully snatched up.

Brooke was giving Charlie a thumbs-up when Shirley Lindy came through the door. Shirley wore a plastic blue poncho and pulled out tissue to wipe away the small beads of water on her wire-rimmed glasses.

"Hello there, Alexander," Shirley said, looking up at him.

"Hi, Mrs. Lindy," he said. "We couldn't find Charlie and he scared me!"

"Me too," Brooke said. "Where is Pastor Jim?"

"I left him out front," the older woman replied.

"What's he doing out there in the rain?" Brooke asked.

"We have a little problem," Shirley answered, holding up her hand and reeling in her right index finger, silently inviting them to come and see.

Brooke was the first outside as Shirley held the door for a ducking Charlie, who still had Alex saddled comfortably on his shoulders.

A gentle fog had rolled onto the property, and the storm had been reduced to a misty drizzle. Brooke's breath clouded before her mouth and nose. But her eyes were on Pastor Jim.

"Oh no," she sighed. "I saw this happen."

Brooke slid her arms sympathetically around Shirley's shoulders as Alex lowered his chin to the top of Charlie's head.

Pastor Jim knelt in a shallow puddle with his head down and hands resting on the top half of the large wooden cross that lay on the ground before him.

Lightning had struck.

Chapter Two

Twenty-seven-year-old Carla Miller sat quietly on a corner bar stool at The Pilot Inn. She was halfway into her first Bacardi and Coke and wished she could smoke a cigarette. She took a deep breath and ran her finger slowly down the side of her glass. She hadn't had a smoke in over a year and knew the craving wouldn't last long. It felt kind of good to be in control of something, at least.

Despite being one of the area's most popular watering holes, the storm had made it a slow night at The Pilot. The sticky smells of stale beer that usually haunted the hundred-year-old bar and diner were minimized by both a light crowd and a splintered mop handle that propped the back door partially open, allowing rain-fresh air to waft through. Only one of the televisions was on, making it a little darker than usual, and the Guess Who's "No Time Left for You" was playing a little too loudly from the corner jukebox. Carla wasn't sure why she only liked listening to old songs. She guessed that they made her think of her father and the short amount of time she had with him.

She shook it off. This wasn't going to be another one of those nights where the promises she had made to herself once again ended up in small pieces scattered all over the floor of the bar. The song ended to the sarcastic applause of an overweight man in his midfifties. A trucker? A construction worker? His fat, sausage-like fingers held a bottle of Bud Light as he slammed four quarters down on the edge of the pool table, securing his right to play the current game's winner. He glanced back at Carla with eyes as gray and worn as his face, giving her the once-over. It didn't bother Carla. Men had always liked her. Though the cigarettes and booze hadn't been kind to her looks, she took a fair amount of consolation in her ability to turn heads.

She rested her chin on the palm of her hand and then looked up. In the long mirror that ran the length of the wall behind the bar, she could see her best friend—her only real friend—Brooke Thomas, walking through the saloon doors that separated the two halves of the bar and diner. It was good to see Brooke, but if she was venturing into the bar, it must have been a really rough day for her. They had known each other for over ten years now, and Brooke had spent the last two doing a pretty solid job of not meeting Carla anywhere that sold alcohol. Enable was the word Brooke liked to use, even though it bugged Carla.

"I hoped I'd find you here," Brooke said, taking off her coat before sitting on the stool next to her. "Busy day at drama central. Went to the free clinic to have Alex checked, then we cleaned the church all afternoon. That was some kind of crazy storm, huh?"

"It was somethin'," Carla responded, hugging Brooke while giving a peace sign to the bartender. "Kathy, let's have two more rum and Cokes. Hold the rum on one." She turned back to Brooke. "What'd you find out about Alex?"

"They want us to come back tomorrow so they can run some tests on him."

"What kind of tests?"

"Blood tests and a couple of other things. Can you go with me?"

"Sure. What time?"

"Have to be there at seven forty-five."

"I'll pick you guys up at quarter after. What are they testing for?"

"Routine stuff," Brooke said, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose. "You think it's something bad?"

Carla lowered her cheek to Brooke's shoulder and put her arm around her for another quick hug. "I'm sure it's not. Alex is gonna be just fine."

"I know," Brooke said, smiling in a way that seemed a little forced. Her light green eyes begged for more assurance. "But the cross outside St. Thomas won't be fine. Lightning struck it."

"You're kidding."

"No. Wait until you see it."

"Don't worry about the cross," Carla said. "It can be replaced."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from THE REASON by William Sirls Copyright © 2012 by Complete Curriculum, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 104 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(73)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 104 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2012

    First of all, I will let you know that my review of the novel Th

    First of all, I will let you know that my review of the novel The Reason is definitely influenced by the place I am in at this time of my life. I have just finished spending two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital with my mother. The things we as a family witness and experienced during that time and after have caused us to be more aware of the miracles around us than we were before that.
    Having said that, I really enjoyed The Reason, and would recommend it to everyone. There was one place where one of the characters acknowledges that they know who the carpenter really is, and then shortly afterwards they question him again, which threw me off but other than that, I found the story line flowed seamlessly, the plot and the characters were well devolped and believable.
    I resonated with Alex's mother as she hopes for a miracle, just as we hoped for a miracle with our mom and realized together with Macey Lewis the oncologist James Lindy the churche's blind minister and the friends of Alex and his mom, in the novel, that truly, no matter how much we try on our own, we must come to the conclusion that God is ultimately in control! What a mighty God we serve!
    No matter what you have experienced I think this novel will give you fresh hope and courage in God's Love.

    44 out of 52 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 11, 2012

    Outstanding first novel. Looking forward to many more excellent stories from William.

    Great characterizations, The Reason has good pacing and excellent prose. Very descriptive, emotional, and uplifting, but have tissues handy for several parts if you are empathetic at all.

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Dont give bad ratings for griping reviews

    You know what really gets me is the people who give books bad ratings because they dont happen to like peoples"reviews". Other people, like me who go by the overall star rating to try and figure out if a book is worth getting can't do that any more because of this. Here's a little bit of advice to those of you who do this...if you dont want to
    know every detail of the book, DONT READ THE REVIEWS. A review is not only for people to tell weather or not they like it but to give some insight as to what the book is about! I am greatful sometimes that people do this because sometimes the description just doesnt give enough detail. So therefore, i am going to give this book a 5 star rating to override the 1 star some dimwit decided to give when they wern't even reviewing the book.

    16 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    The Reason William Sirls ©2012 Thomas Nelson Publishers ISBN 978

    The Reason
    William Sirls ©2012
    Thomas Nelson Publishers
    ISBN 978-1-4016-8736 (trade paper)
    396 pp. plus author’s note and Reading Group Guide

    The Reason is a story so well written readers can believe such events really could happen. And since with God nothing is impossible, these events surely could happen.

    Brooke Thomas never told her former boss, Ian, that he was the father of her son, Alex—until Alex needed a bone marrow match to recover from leukemia.

    Brooke’s boss, Carla Miller believes she’s worthless and can’t forgive or be forgiven. Dr. Zach Norman doesn’t realize he’s destroying relationships with his selfishness and self-centeredness. Dr. Macey Lewis believes she personally must cure every child with cancer.

    Pastor Jim and his wife Shirley love their brain-damaged, seven-foot tall son, Charlie, even though he cannot speak. They also love the small church they lead. The cross outside the church has just been damaged by lightning and they can’t afford to replace it. Charlie loves Alex.

    Tim Shempner is thoroughly rotten--not worth saving. Or is he?

    How the mysterious Kenneth affects each character in this story will change their lives forever. The Reason will leave readers filled with hope that nothing happens without a purpose and with the satisfaction of reading a tale well told.

    13 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    I wasn't initially drawn to The Reason. The premise didn't make

    I wasn't initially drawn to The Reason. The premise didn't make sense, but when I started reading it, I was immediately drawn into the story. The story begins on a dark and stormy day. The lightening from the storm strikes the large wooden cross in front of a small church in Mighican. The repair of the cross unites a group of characters that together meet Kenneth, a man who is different from anyone they’ve ever known. 




    Kenneth joins the group as they work to repair the cross and his life begins to intersect the other characters in very mysterious ways. His faith is strong, even stronger than Pastor Jim. As this group of people faces difficulties Kenneth encourages them to “Only believe.” Will they be able to believe in the face of tremendous heartache? Trouble from the past? A belief in modern medicine?




    I really enjoyed The Reason.  I didn’t want to put it down, but when I was forced too, I found myself thinking about the story and wanting to know what was going to happen. There was a lot in the book and the various and varying storylines were a bit confusing to follow at times, but they eventually all made sense. This is a great book for anyone as it is a tremendous story sure to help build or reinforce your faith. 




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    9 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Great book- Highly recommend!!

    Great book- Highly recommend!!

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Plot spoilers

    Loved the "reviews". I give 5 stars to these informative reviewers. Problem-I save money by not needing to purchase book but the author loses money. Keep up the good wirk writing mini novels, reviews.

    Want-to-be writers continue to share their plot spoilers as reviews. Sad

    6 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    !

    Just a little FYI to the posters calling names because someone dared to complain about plot spoilers. I do not read the plot spoilers, however, i am a sight reader and being forced to scroll thru the abnormally long plot spoilers i inevitably end up seeing something that ruins the book for me. So, until bn does something to force these rude inconsiderate ppl to stop giving away every detail of a book, i will continue to complain.

    4 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2012

    At St. Thomas Church, the cross on the front lawn is a beacon of

    At St. Thomas Church, the cross on the front lawn is a beacon of hope; that is, until a lightning strike leaves it in splinters. Many of the people around the church are as broken as the cross: Carla, who can't forgive or forget the secrets of her childhood; Brooke, who faced life alone as a single mother until meeting the minister and his family; and Zach, the doctor who cannot forgive himself for a past failure. But when a mysterious stranger arrives on the scene to repair the cross, they find that there is hope for their broken lives, as well. All they need to do is . . . "only believe" . . .


    Forgiveness is as much the central theme of this novel as is faith. The author has, in his first novel, found a way to express that most basic tenet of the Gospel. There is forgiveness for all, if we only believe.


    5 stars


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    booksbysteph says "Must Read!"

    Outside a church in a small town in Michigan stands a 15 foot wooden cross. Brooke was cleaning inside the church with her 5-year-old son, Alex, when the lights went out. “It was deadly still outside. The air was thick and had a strange smell to it. The clouds were now a dark gray and the sky behind them an eerie crayon green, casting down a steady shadow of the same color over everything she could see.”

    The thunder rolled closer, getting louder. Lightning striking down, lighting up the church for an instant. Brooke glanced outside to see a reddish-orange flash followed by thunder so loud it shook the church.

    The storm was over as fast as it came. Brooke and Alex stepped outside to see Pastor Jim on his knees in front of the cross. Lightning had struck it in two, the upper section lying in a puddle on the lawn.

    ~

    Brooke and Alex met Dr. Macey Lewis at the East Shore Community Hospital. Alex has not been feeling well for a while and getting many nosebleeds. Alex told Macey about the cross and Macey said she would help fix it. Her friend and nurse, Kaitlyn, offered to help as well. Dr. Zach Norman offered to help as well, though his intentions were selfish. He wanted to look good in front of Kaitlyn, who he used to date and who he wants back. A construction worker who was working on the expansion of the hospital stopped by Macey’s office and offered his help. Everyone agree to meet at the cross after Sunday service at the church.

    Macey and Kaitlyn decided to attend the church service. Zach was a nonbeliever. As everyone gathered around the cross and saw the extent of the damage, they knew there would be no way to fix it, but it was still worth a try. They left Kenneth to change out of their church clothes. They spoke about how they thought they would not be able to help and all offered to pitch in money to buy a new cross when they looked out the window to see that the cross had been fixed.

    It was a miracle to some and unbelievable to others. How could one man fix an unfixable cross in a matter of minutes? Not only was the cross heavy, but also stuck in the ground when the mud dried after the storm. The two fire-burnt ends of the cross could no longer fit together like two puzzle pieces. Who is Kenneth and what did he do?

    I GIVE THIS BOOK: 5 out of 5 stars

    In the beginning of the book, I was having trouble keeping track of who was who. Was Macey the doctor and Kaitlyn the nurse? Which one dated Dr. Zach? Once I got the characters down, it was smooth sailing.

    This book is a must read! It made me laugh, get angry, become frustrated and heartbroken. Keep the tissues around; this book will make you cry. These characters become a little family through the instances in the story and the book makes you feel like you are a part of that family as well. This book will leave you wondering, confused, and second-guessing with a sense of unbelievable.

    I cannot say much more about this book to show you how great is it. There are no words. Just know that your faith may be challenged. You may cry. And you just might love this book as much as I do. If you only believe.

    If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself!

    Until next time, take life one page at a time!

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Haven't read yet

    I will read this book after this review. I wish we could get good reviews from people who have read a book instead of the complaining by u who dont like the plot spoiler. Why would u even bother to read those reviews. Tell us if the book is nasty with bad langauage or a clean book with a good story line. I buy books that have good reviews. I dont buy books because someone is complaining or someone is giving away the entire story. I dont read the plot spoiler. Now that i have that off my chest i will read this book. Thank you very much!

    3 out of 35 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2012

    Great Book! The Reason by William Sirls

    This story is filled with many different characters that have extremely different situations in their individual lives that send them all searching for the same thing…answers.
    I was captivated by the authors ability to bring the characters alive to the point where you can visualize them in your head.
    I am convinced that everyone of us, if we are honest, can say that we daily have questions in our minds that are very similar to those of the people in this story.
    Questions of why? Questions of when? And ultimately a question of how?

    The journey that Brooke, her son Alex, and all of their friends take in this story will leave you sleepless because this book could keep you turning pages and losing track of the time.
    I found that the book had a little bit of a slow start but only about the first 2 chapters and then it breaks open into a suspenseful and emotional ride. You will swing from sadness, excitement, suspense, and thankfulness for what God is doing on your own life through the course of this book.
    When life gets tough, just remember that God is always there with you and will take care of things, even if it doesn’t seem like the way you would do things. Only Believe!

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Highly Recommended - this is a must read!!

    The Reason by William Sirls is a novel about faith and believing in a higher power, for me this would be God. Sirls captures something personal about every character in ‘The Reason’; he does not miss a beat. Very well written novel Mr. Sirls, full of inspiration, love and hope for all who read your book. A small community comes together when lightning struck the cross at their church and destroyed it, the cross that gave so many of them hope. Pastor Jim and the parishioner’s wonder how they will have the cross-repaired with no funds to hire anyone, and then Kenneth happens along. The characters ask the questions we have all asked at some point in our lives, “where is God when bad things happen”, and “does He really hear us when we pray”? They will make you laugh and cry, they we all teach you that we need to have faith and to believe. You will find it very hard to put this book down, this is a book that will you will read again.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Reason William Sirls In a small town in Michigan a storm is

    The Reason
    William Sirls

    In a small town in Michigan a storm is brewing. As the storm builds the lights inside St. Thomas church go out, then the night sky is brightened by a lone lightning strike that splits the wooden cross outside of the church. Since it is a small congregation the blind minister wonders how they will repair the damage that was wrought. When Macey Lewis, an oncologist at the local hospital, finds out about the dilemma she gathers a group of strangers together to repair what was done. Soon their lives are intertwining as they each find peace with themselves and with God.

    The Reason is a beautiful novel full of love and God’s grace. In this book you learn that anything can be possible as long as you believe, to quit living in the past and live in the present, and appreciate what is around you that you have been blessed with. With such a strong positive message and beautiful scenes this is one of those novels you just don’t want to put down. William Sirls has created not only a book worth reading but something that will impact and change the way you view the things in your life. I do think novels like this need to come with tissues that would be enough warning that there is a strong chance you will end up blubbering like a baby.
    I was sent a free copy of this book for an honest review.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2012

    I received a copy of THE REASON by William Sirls from Thomas Nel

    I received a copy of THE REASON by William Sirls from Thomas Nelson via BookSneeze. I normally whip right through books, but this one took me a while to read. It wasn’t bad, but I had trouble getting into the voice. I couldn’t put my finger on anything in particular; it was just a personal preference.

    I did enjoy the characters. I found them realistic and the dialogue reminded me of talk I hear every day. The descriptions were excellent. I could picture everything as if I was there. The use of lightning in the story really stood out to me as well – but shh, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. The cover of the book is pretty breathtaking, though.

    Basically, the story is about a community that comes together to help rebuild after lightning strikes. I was worried it would be bogged down with preaching, but instead, the belief and religion was gently woven into the character development and fast plot. Think of it as Christian and Fiction perfectly blended into a delicious cake. I never found a dull moment. There are happy times and sad times. Be warned. You might need to have a tissue box nearby.

    I recommend this book to anyone looking for inspiration and hope. Fans of Christian literature will definitely delight in this.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2013

    Amazing tearjerker that will re-ignite your faith!

    Amazing tearjerker that will re-ignite your faith!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

     William Sirls' books are compelling reads. Even though I read t

     William Sirls' books are compelling reads. Even though I read them several weeks ago, I can't wait to read them again because I know I will stiil enjoy it and get more from it. They are  deep, thought-provoking, inspiring, enjoyable books. I can't wait to read more of this author. The Reason revolves around a church family,a doctor,  and a carpenter. Each one brings their own story and their own part to the other characters stories. There is illness, hospitals, lightening, crosses, and disbelief. It all comes together to make a suspenseful, emotional, lesson learning experience.
    I recieved this book from the author and the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.

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  • Posted June 15, 2014

    This book begins with the cross of a small town church being de

    This book begins with the cross of a small town church being destroyed by lightning. I was quickly captivated by the characters – a single mom, her adorable little boy, the blind pastor and his wife, their gentle giant mentally challenged son, 3 medical personnel, and one miracle performing carpenter. The characters seemed so real and William Sirls has woven an incredible story, almost a modern What Would Jesus Do? As I read I wondered if I would have the faith that the characters in the story have, especially as the pasts of several characters are reveled and the circumstances of some get harder.
    What an amazing book! “Only Believe” is the theme that runs throughout it – believe in the miracles that God can perform when we believe. I loved this book and look forward to reading more by William Sirls. I highly recommend it - I couldn’t put it down until I finished it! I received this book from TBCN in return for my honest opinion.

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  • Posted June 2, 2014

    I just finished reading The Reason by William Sirls. It was a g

    I just finished reading The Reason by William Sirls. It was a great read. I liked the length as I felt it gave me plenty of time to get to really know the characters and there were so many, I felt like I was part of the small town myself. Something else I love in a book. Most of all, though, despite the great storylines and the way he kept the stories moving and interconnecting with each other, he made me think. He addressed questions most Christians struggle with in such a way as to bring peace. Recently I’ve been on the sidelines of a struggle similar to what one of these characters went through and have seen how God has been with this particular family, speaking the same truths to them as were spoken in this book. While this is fiction, it’s much more. I recommend reading The Reason as it will open your eyes to much more than a great story with incredible characters. It just might reinforce “the reason” why, if you do, you believe. I can’t wait to read his next book, The Sinner’s Garden.

    I received this book for free from The Book Club Network and Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted June 1, 2014

    Wow! What a very thought-provoking fiction book! While this book

    Wow! What a very thought-provoking fiction book! While this book is fiction, it really taught me a lot about "only believing". This book centers around a group of people associated with the church. Some different scenarios happen with everyone in the book but they all center around one theme. I loved the way the author brought them all together. And just when you think you know the ending, there is a twist. This book had me in tears near the end and I was amazed at how inspirational this fiction book was. I would recommend this book to everyone!
    I received this book from bookfun for my honest opinion.

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