by Joseph Girzone


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780684813462
Publisher: Touchstone
Publication date: 04/01/1995
Series: Joshua Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 47,664
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Father Joseph F. Girzone retired from the active priesthood in 1986 for health reasons. He then began a writing career that includes the following titles: Joshua and the Children, Joshua in the Holy Land, The Shepherd, and Kara, the Lonely Falcon.

Read an Excerpt


It was a quiet, sultry afternoon in Auburn. People were gathering at Sanders' store for news and the latest gossip. The weather had been sticky and hot for the past few days, just like before a thunderstorm. It was the kind of day that puts people on edge, when mosquitoes and biting flies invade from the nearby woods and annoy everyone in town.

The Persini brothers had given up laying pipe for the day; the ground was too soupy from recent rains and the site was infested with mosquitoes. Why waste time working mud? They had already left the job and were walking toward Sanders' when they met Pat Zumbar, who had also taken the afternoon off.

Pat greeted them with his usual friendly attack: "What the hell are you guys doin' away from the job? When are you gonna finish that pipeline so we can use our sinks? The women are furious you're taking so long."

"Cool off, Pat, it's too hot to work today. You took off, didn't you, and all you do is sit on a bulldozer. You should be in that mudhole, then you'd have something to bellyache about." That was big Tony. He never took much of Pat's gulf. And today was no time to horse around. It was too hot and everyone was on edge.

As the men walked along the sidewalk their heavy work boots pounded the wooden planks like rolling thunder. The men liked to hear that noise. It made them feel important. Pat reached Sanders' first. He opened the squeaky screen door and let the others enter, then followed them as the door slammed behind him. The noise startled Katherine Sanders, who was cleaning the counter. "You guys back again? I thought I just got rid of you," she said as she continued working.

"It's too hot to work today," Ernie said matter-of-factly. "I should have gone fishing like I wanted to."

"Never mind your fishing," Katherine shot back, "you better finish that water main so we can clean up around here."

At that point George Sanders came out of the back room. He was a mild-mannered man, recently retired from the county highway department, where he had worked for the past thirty years. He now spent most of his time around the store, even though his wife, Katherine, had been running it efficiently for years without his help.

This wasn't just a store, and these fellows weren't just customers. They had been friends since childhood and knew each other better than brothers and sisters. There were few secrets among them. They knew everything there was to know about each other and they were still friends. The store was the natural meeting place when there was nothing else to do, and even though the small counter was hardly adequate, the men were content to just stand around and drink their coffee or eat their sandwiches. Good-natured banter and needling was ordinary fare, and at this they were experts.

The current topic of conversation around town was the new fellow living in the old cottage at the edge of town. No one knew much about him except that his name was Joshua and he was a plain man. He kept pretty much to himself, which piqued everyone's curiosity. Once or twice a week he would walk up the street to the grocery store and buy food and other things he needed. He wasn't particularly shy, though he didn't talk much. He just went about his business and smiled hello to whoever he met along the way. He dressed simply, wearing khaki pants and a plain, loose, pullover shirt that was a lighter shade brown than the pants. The shirt was tucked in at the waist and open at the neck. In place of a leather belt he wore a belt put together from carefully braided strings that formed a fiat rope about an inch and a half wide, with a loop and large knots that hooked together in the front.

Joshua looked tall because he was slim and athletic. His long graceful hands were used to hard work and were pleasing to watch when he gestured. His face was thin but with strong, rugged features. His blue-green eyes were striking in the deep feeling they expressed. When he looked at you you had the feeling he was looking into your soul. But the look was not critical. It was filled with compassion and seemed to say "I know all about you and I understand." His walnut-colored hair was thick and wavy, not recently cut, so it gathered about his ears and neck.

Joshua was an object of intense curiosity because no one knew anything about him, and there was no way to learn anything about him. He didn't seem to have a family. He didn't have a job that anyone knew about, yet he didn't seem to be well-off enough to live without working. According to the mailman he wasn't getting any dividend checks or social security checks, no pension checks or government mail. How did he live? That's what had everyone baffled. Whenever he came into town to buy food, what he bought was meager: a loaf of unsliced French or Italian bread, fresh fish, when it was available, pieces of chicken, some fresh ground hamburger, a few cans of sardines, fresh fruits and vegetables. It rarely varied and never amounted to much. Usually after leaving the market he would walk across the street to the liquor store and buy a gallon of table wine. Then, with arms loaded down with packages, he would walk back to his cottage.

But all this revealed little about the man except that he was orderly in his schedule, regular in his diet, and moderately well-disciplined. Beyond that he was still a mystery.

The cottage he lived in was small, not more than three rooms: a kitchen, a living room, and a bedroom. There was a back room off the house that Joshua used as a workshop. In front of the cottage, near the street, was a homemade mailbox. There was nothing like it anywhere. It was made of wood and constructed like an old-fashioned fishing boat in such a way that the keel could be pulled out like a drawer and letters inserted. There was a fish net hanging down the side to collect small packages.

Along the front of the house was a white picket fence, broken by a gate in the middle, which turned at the corners and went partially down along the sides of the property. Joshua had removed sections of the fence at the rear of the house so that the backyard opened out into a sprawling meadow, which was part of the nearby farm where sheep and cows grazed. Joshua never had to mow his lawn; a few stray sheep wandered regularly into his yard and did the mowing for him, leaving only clumps of wildflowers here and there which created a natural, attractive setting.

These were the few obvious facts about Joshua that were familiar to the townsfolk — just enough to whet their appetite to learn more about him.

It was George who brought up the subject of Joshua. "That new fellow from the Little House on the Prairie came in just before you guys got here. Katherine gets butterflies every time he stops in for a cup of coffee. I think she's got a crush on him," George said, with a big laugh.

Katherine was furious. "That's not true," she retorted sharply. "I just get nervous when he's around. He's not like other people, and I get tongue-tied when I try to talk to him. And George is no different. He just stands there gawking at him like a fool." George just laughed good-humoredly.

"You know, he really is a likable guy once you get to know him. And he's not stupid either," George went on. "I asked him what he thought of the lsraelis invading Lebanon, and he answered that everyone has a right to live in peace. That was a shrewd answer. He wasn't taking one side, but he took both sides when you think of it. He knew I was feeling him out, and he was polite in answering but didn't reveal a thing about what he really felt."

At that point Moe Sanders came into the store. "All right, you guys, how come the water main's not finished? Everyone's wondering where you went. I tried to help you out, so I told them you probably went fishing. Are they mad! They said they haven't had running water since yesterday afternoon."

"You're a big help," Tony Persini said. "We worked in that hole all morning and couldn't get a thing done with all the mud. The pipe is broken in six different places. If the pump works and it doesn't rain, we may be able to get it finished by tonight."

Changing the subject, Moe remarked that he had just bumped into that new guy, Joshua. "He was leaving the liquor store and was on his way home. I walked over to him and started a conversation with him, and, you know, he's not a bad fellow. He's got a good sense of humor too. He wanted to know who the roly-poly fellow was with the big mouth. I told him he must have been talking about Pat."

"He didn't say that," Pat burst in. "He don't even know who I am."

"He didn't actually use those words," Moe said, "but he did describe you so there was no mistaking who he meant. You do make a big impression on people who don't know you. And there was no way he could have missed you coming down the street. I could hear you all the way around the corner."

"We were just talking about him ourselves before you came in," Tony interjected. "George had been talking to him. He seems like a friendly guy."

Moe agreed and added that Joshua had even invited him over to his house whenever he's free and told him to bring his friends too. "I asked him where he works, and he told me he just repairs things for people, wooden objects and things around the house. It doesn't bring him much income, just enough to pay his bills. He doesn't need much anyway, he said."

"Boy, what a way to live! I wish my life was that simple," Ernie said.

During this exchange George was looking out the window. "Looks like it's going to rain," he said.

Ernie turned and looked out the window. "We'll never get that pipe fixed. I'll see you guys tomorrow," he said as he walked toward the door. One by one the others followed. Katherine took their cups and cleaned the counter as the squeaky door slammed shut.

The main street was quiet. Everyone had gone home to escape the impending storm. There were only a few cars and pickup trucks along the wide street. Auburn was an old town, built around the late 1700s, tucked away in the foothills of the mountains that sprawled out into the distance. The village, with its surrounding fields and hamlets, had kept its own identity. Its six churches attested to the varied backgrounds of the inhabitants, the names on mailboxes graphically pointing up the wide diversity of nationalities, and the antique houses and stores painted a vivid picture of life here two centuries ago.

The people were warm and friendly, once you got to know them. Being off the main flow of highway traffic, the village was isolated and well insulated from the current of change that was sweeping the big city. The people were more true to the old ways, and change came slowly, if at all.

Copyright © 1983, 1987 by Joseph F. Girzone

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Joshua 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It had a really good message that is aligned with God's word. I really recommend this book for people of christain faith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book sucks ass
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stumbled upon this book and was very glad that I did. It provides a fresh perspective on how Jesus would live His life on earth today and it shows how each of us can find joy in the simple things that life has to offer. It also provides some eye-opening insight into modern day religion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joshua is well-told story. Girzone's style is simple and engaging. This parable of finding the Lord in a small New York town has undeniable appeal. It was given to me as a gift many years ago, and I have given it to others many times since. Girzone's work deeply influenced my thinking about God and Jesus.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Joshua, although simply written, is a great parable regarding how Jesus would be accepted in today's society. It's interesting that Joshua's interpretation of the scriptures, is seen as radical to church leaders. The average person that Joshua helps loves him, but various church leaders feel threatened and soon he is in danger just as Jesus once was. I've always thought that if Jesus returned today he would receive pretty much the same treatment as he did centuries ago. This book illustrates that point. The Christian church has moved away from the words of the true Jesus, and like in earlier times, are often interested in power and don't encourage their followers to discuss the Bible but to simply accept what they are told. It would be nice if more people read this book and listened to the message. Another novel, 'The Destiny of Miro' brings up some of the same issues regarding organized religion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the way Jesus message was given. It did not feel like we were being preached to, yet the message gets across.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In 'Joshua,' Father Girzone describes in a parable how people have lost sight of the true meaning of religion. Joshua is a the title character. Although the novel never comes out and says it, the main character, Joshua, portrays the second coming of Christ. Just like 2,000 years ago, the novel shows Joshua rejected by religious leaders. Although Joshua is not crucified, the circumstances are the same and he leaves without being accepted. Only a handful of people realize how special Joshua is and believe in him. This novel will get you thinking about your own religion or belief in God.
Othemts on LibraryThing 20 days ago
This a beautiful, inspirational book about Jesus returning in our day and age. Built on the examples of the Bible, Joshua acts in ways surprising to the Christians of his community. I particularly enjoy how Joshua worships at multiple churches in the town, scandalous to some of the characters in the book, but really an example of how God is with us all. Read this book and it will give a boost to your faith in the God of Love.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing 20 days ago
I have a confession to make--I'm not religious, and I'm sure that is partly (but not entirely) responsible for the low rating. I read this because I'm reading through "The Ultimate Reading List" which has an "Inspirational Fiction" component and I decided not to skip it--after all, I do find CS Lewis thought-provoking and enjoyable, and I didn't want to rule out I might find a good book through this listing.Girzone isn't a CS Lewis though. His style is simple, spare, and inelegant, with clunky dialogue, though fast-reading. Just knowing this was a work of religious fiction and the title, I guessed its subject and found the plot predictable. Basically, the premise is this--Jesus (ie Joshua) is alive and living in the small American village of Auburn. He's a carpenter who lives simply--but one that soon has an impact around him. He can see into your soul with a look, his lawn is mowed by sheep wandering in and cropping his grass and he can carry by himself a block of wood weighing hundreds of pounds. One of the basic messages of the book, despite Girzone's position as a priest in the Catholic Church is not simply ecumenical but one that stresses that Jesus is of no church, and that apostles and religious are called to serve people, not any organization, and the message and spirit is far more important than rigid rules or ritual. However, what struck me more than anything was an inability to see beyond the context of his own belief. For instance there's this passage said by Joshua:Any ability we have comes from God, and our recognition of it should make us humble, not arrogant. That's the mistake so many scientists make when they think they have created what God has given them to discover. In their smallness they use their discoveries as reason to question the very existence of the person who gave them their ability. That is the modern unforgivable sin.I'm not a scientist--and I could just point out that after all many scientist are believers, but I think that's really beside the point. From a theocentric point of view, given how often scientific discovery has conflicted with dogma and scripture, I suppose I can understand why it might be thought science is all about proving there is no God. But I doubt even atheist scientists care to do that. Science is about understanding the universe and seeking the truth using logic, observation, and testing your premises--whatever the result--just ask Galileo. It's not about arrogance--it's about integrity.Similarly, given the thoughts and words Girzone ascribes to Joshua, he seems to believe the reason Jews aren't Christians is because Christians have been mean to them over the ages. I'm no more Jewish than I am a scientist, but I can't imagine a believing Jew finding that credible. Jews aren't Christians because they are not Christians. That might sound like a tautology, but it isn't. My point is really the same as it is about science versus religion. People don't believe the things they do in reaction to what you believe--whether because of how you treat them (although persecuting them doesn't help)--nor to prove you wrong. They believe what they do because they think it's true and right.
worldsedge on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Honestly, I fail to see what all the fuss about this book is or was about. The plot is as predictable as it comes, and the dialog as painful as anything I've read this side of J.K. Rowling. It is a pity the Holy Inquisition doesn't exist as it did in Torquemada's day. "Joshua" encountering that might have livened up this deadly dull plodder a bit.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most beautiful books I've every read and would like to order this thru your company
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book its tiresome and repetitive and is unbelievably boring but has a good message which is mentioned every other page, honestly iy is
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This fits right in with The Shack. It is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I first read this about 15 years ago. So glad I found it again. I now own it and can read it at will.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nana-96 More than 1 year ago
I have read this book twice myself. I ordered these copies for our book club to read and discuss together. I'm sure they will all enjoy this book. I highly recommend all of Girzone's books to everyone. And I have all of his books but one which I have not able to find yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book "Joshua" is a great book that puts simplicity in life and reflects on what Christ came to earth to teach. The story tells of a man living in a small town that could represent any town that has prejudice between groups and how people are tagged as stereotypes. The book challenges the reader to look at their own life and see how they are not following the footseps of a fair person. Accept people for who they are and always assume positive intent.
Maroonbell More than 1 year ago
I'd never heard of the Joshua books before until a member of the church where I worked at the time bought the whole set and brought them to donate to the church library. He asked if I'd ever read them and when he found out I hadn't, he urged me to read them and then put them in the church library when I was done. I did so and the books in this series blessed me during a time I really needed it. It made me feel closer to the Lord when I was going through a spiritual desert. I love the whole series, but this first one is the very best! It's moving, entertaining, thought-provoking and prayer-provoking! I absolutely loved it!
Four More than 1 year ago
If Jesus returned today, this might be His story. "Joshua" (the name Jesus goes by in this story) questions the teachings of the church just like He did 2000 years ago. He heals the sick, raises the dead, and has an audience with the Pope and the Jewish community. The message is good, although the writing style has a bit too much exposition for me. Once I got beyond that, though, the story was well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book that defines grassroots Christianity and refreshes those disciples who may have got themselves mixed up in too much Church stuff and not enough servitude and relationships. A must-read for the 21st century Christian.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have not read the book but the movie is the best I have ever seen. I highly reccomend reading the book and seeing the movie. It is so uplifting and leaves you feeling so happy when you are done watching it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Always know you are not alone and that all you have to do is ask God to join you and you will succeed. He is there for all of us and that is amazing in itself! Love and spread joy whenever you can even in the smallest of ways and you will inspire others to do the same by your own example. Most of all keep the faith and know you are loved by the greatest of us all -- our creator. Spectacular movie and extremely uplifting and inspiring to do good everyday you live and walk on this earth in this very special life you are given.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wherever you are on your journey, Joshua will open your eyes. We have more in common with one another than we realize. Read it with an open mind and heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read this book 3 times (and bought the movie) along with reading all the other Joshua books by Girzone, and they are wonderfully written and spiritualy uplifting. I keep these books close to my heart as they have given me back my Faith in God that I had lost. Not that they are true but just the mere thought that "what if?" is what stops you in your tracks. Joseph Girzone has done a wonderful portrayal of Jesus!!! I would imagine Jesus to be this type of person in this day and age. Please take the time to read Joshua as you will never regret it.