About nathanvanhoff

Writer, speaker, voice-over

Novel: First Draft Complete

I finished the first draft of my novel and have personally edited it once. I’m going through a second time and have a few others helping with the process. Meanwhile, I’ve begun querying agents to test the waters and gauge interest.

If you know of any literary agencies or publishing houses you think I should be aware of or reach out to, feel free to leave them in the comments.

I want to share the title and synopsis with you because I am excited about the story, but I know those things could change if it does eventually get picked up by someone, so I will refrain for now. I think it is safe to tell you that the world in which it is set has been influenced by Arthurian tales, the Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Adventures of Robin Hood, as well as Ancient and Medieval non-fiction history. It does not draw anything directly from these, but there are similar elements.

That’s all for now!

What I’ve Been Up To

I haven’t posted in awhile because most of my writing time has been occupied with working on a fantasy novel. The novel is not Christian, but it does have Biblical themes throughout and is influenced by my faith.

I’ll post updates in regards to the progress from time-to-time. At the moment the manuscript is at about 90,000 words and probably 3/4 complete.

Just wanted to let people know I haven’t quit writing, just been working on a longer project.

Daily Devotion: The Hope of Joseph

The story of Joseph’s life is found in Genesis 37 and 39-50. Throughout Joseph’s life, he suffered unjustly. He was a human and so he was imperfect, but he did not do anything to deserve to be sold as a slave by his own brothers or to later be thrown into jail. In fact, if he had sinned with Potiphar’s wife, he may not have been thrown in jail at all.

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Discrimination in the Church

As people we have many beautiful differences, some of which are race, role, and gender. These differences have been ordained by God for His glory and for our good. Together, they form a more complete and intricate reflection of God and are a witness of His love and beauty to the world. Though there are ways in which we are different, in the body of Christ we are one (1 Corinthians 12:27, Romans 12:5, Galatians 3:28). Our differences, no matter what they may be, do not change our value or importance to God and should not change our value or importance to each other or ourselves. It is because of the great value that God places on us that he intricately wove us together our in mother’s womb with those things that make us different from one another. It is his handiwork and creativity on display through us.

Sadly we have allowed the world, the enemy, and our sin to turn blessings from God into things that divide us or are used as a reason to mistreat one another. What should be a cause for celebration and a more full expression of worship to our God is hijacked for a host of reasons.

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Daily Devotion: Words to Speak

While Jesus was on earth, He promised that when the disciples were arrested and brought before the authorities to testify, the Holy Spirit would give them the words to say. They would not need to worry about “what to say or how to say it.”

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. – Matthew 10:16-20

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Daily Devotion: Baptized with Fire

At times, the work and role of the Holy Spirit is mysterious in the life of the believer. Because of the mystery involved, we often neglect or fail to grasp the magnitude of what it means that the Spirit of God has indwelt us as believers. For various reasons, some churches are a bit “light” on teaching about the Spirit while of those that place more of an emphasis on the Spirit some misrepresent the work and expression of the Spirit.

This devotional will not be exhaustive or conclusive. I have much to learn about this topic and even if I knew more could not hope to synthesize it in a few hundred words. My hope here is to point us to a few scriptures about the Holy Spirit that will begin to help us grow in our understanding of this marvelous mystery.

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’

John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” – Matthew 3:1-6

 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” – Matthew 3:11

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Daily Devotion: Pray Expectantly in the Presence of the Lord

“Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.
For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness;
    with you, evil people are not welcome.
The arrogant cannot stand
    in your presence.
You hate all who do wrong;
     you destroy those who tell lies.
The bloodthirsty and deceitful
    you, Lord, detest.
But I, by your great love,
    can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
    toward your holy temple.” – Psalm 5:1-7

It is said often and with good reason, that David–the writer of this psalm and many others–was very imperfect. Despite his failings, he has strong words for wrong doers saying that they “are not welcome” and “cannot stand in [God’s] presence”.

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