Guest Blog: Chrissie Tomlinson

Dr. Chrissie Tomlinson spent over twenty-five years in the ministry, where she served as Christian education and Christian counselor. She holds master’s degrees in biblical counseling and in management/organizational leadership, and a PhD in Christian counseling and psychology.

In addition to Soul Anchors she has authored numerous short stories and professional articles; she is also the author of the long-running blog, ThisRoadHome.com. Chrissie is available for speaking engagements and ministry consultation, and can be contacted at [email protected]. She currently resides in Georgia with her mother and her feline companions Fiona Fred and Maggie.

It’s a crazy, unpredictable life in a crazy, unpredictable world. Most days it’s hard to feel like our feet rest on steady ground. This world holds no sense of true security for us, and sometimes it is easier to succumb to those feelings of insecurity than to try to summon the strength to be women of courage in the face of the struggles that we face.

What do you do when life throws its worst at you? On those days that make you feel more insecure than others, what is it that you hold onto? What grounds you and gives you the hope and confidence to keep moving forward, to pick yourself up when you’ve fallen down?

With in-depth instruction and personal application guides, this Bible study will guide you through an examination of four soul anchors that we have through our relationship with Jesus Christ. These anchors- love, truth, peace, freedom- are unchangeable despite the circumstances, despite our feelings, and in spite of all the obstacles that are thrown into our paths. These anchors hold us in place and hold us together, even when we feel like everything is falling apart.

Q: Who is your greatest literary influence?

When Jaimie and Victoria asked for an article about my greatest literary influence, I laughed in that way that would have made coffee come out of my nose- if I had been drinking coffee at that moment. This is a challenging question for me, because my history with books goes way back to my crib. The story has been told that I was the most contented child ever born as long as there was a book with me in my crib. I would sit quietly chattering, “reading” aloud, for hours. I suppose, even back then I was making up stories that only my toddler mind could comprehend.

My earliest reading memory involves the ever beloved Bobbsey Twins books. Oh, I had a shelf full of them, and read them multiple times. Then there was my devotion to the Box Car Children. I suppose my parents saw the wisdom in getting me interested in serial books, until the discovered that my love for these books would result in quite a financial investment for them. I read through the Perry Public Library children’s collection multiple times, until the librarian finally got tired of my pestering her and allowed me into the young adult section. My book choices were carefully scrutinized for age-appropriate themes, but as a 7 year-old, I was okay with that.

During junior high and high school I was introduced to such great authors as Mark Twain, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, Charles Dickens. It was then, among this great cloud of literary witnesses, that I was able to find my own voice as a story writer. I learned to pair my unique sense of humor and valor with my inner villain and craft realities for my characters that would leave people either in laughter, in tears, or locking their doors tighter at night.

One of my favorite contemporary authors has always been Dean Koontz. Many people find it strange that I admire his work. I suppose I relate so well to him because I feel that, like him, the fiction that I write really is cross-genre. I find it a rewarding challenge to write stories that engage the reader’s creative mind from multiple angles. Two of his works that I actually have dog-eared copies of From the Corner of His Eye, and Relentless.

The latter is somewhat more violent than I prefer, but the themes of this book capture what I feel are foundational social concerns. Also, it is in this book that Koontz shows himself to be my kindred spirit by referencing two of my other favorites, Flannery O’Connor, and G.K. Chesterton. In fact, a portion of this book is a re-telling of O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.”

Though fiction is my first love, because of my many years serving in the ministry, much of my work is inspirational in nature. There are two writers who have most influenced me in that genre- Elisabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael. It is the ability of these two writers to put this earthly life into eternal perspective that has always led me to their works time and time again. They each have such a strong grasp on the hand of God in every aspect of life, and are able to almost flawlessly show how each moment of our lives is an opportunity to honor and glorify God.

That is of utmost importance to me, whether I am writing a short story, a novel, a blog post, or a devotional book. As writers, once we press that final “Publish” button, those words that we’ve written can’t be retrieved. Our words have the power to make their mark on hearts and lives of those who read them. My hope is that all that I write is a reflection of the power and glory of God at work in His creation.

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Comments 1

  1. author Joan Leahy posted January 3rd 2019. 6:33 am Reply

    Dear Dr. Tomlinson, My name is Joan Leahy. My daughter-in-law is Sherri Leahy. We spent Christmas with Sherri and our son Tim and our grandaughters.
    Sherri showed me your book “Advent to Advent 2018” and asked if I would like to read it. I did each day and I can’t tell you how much it helped me.( I tend to become depressed during
    the holidays). It reminded me of my love for Jesus and that I probably strayed from Him, but he is always there for me. Sherri gave me your book. It was best gift I couldhave received.
    Bless you in your ministry to God’s people.

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