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|Title: Jefferson's Tears|
By: Neil Cullan McKinlay
Number of Pages: 170
Vendor: Nordskog Publishing
Publication Date: 2018
|Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 X 0.70 (inches)|
Weight: 2 pounds
Stock No: WW497345
Great hope accompanied the movement of freed African-American slaves who migrated to Liberia. The Liberian national constitution was a nurtured sprig from the American tree. Yet the African soil proved relentlessly challenging. Over the decades, Liberia became a morally bankrupt nation beset by criminality and vicious revolution. How could God save a young man in such a cauldron of chaos?
Jefferson Williams Kollie's story is one of horror, despair, and deliverance. The degraded and revolution-torn African country of Liberia reduced a boy's life to brutal survival. The once-promising nation was now threatening both body and soul. Yet somehow Jefferson found hope and life. Could grace and redemption experienced by one man presage that of an entire struggling nation? Read how one traumatized young man confirmed God's radical emancipation in his new home of Australia.
Neil Cullan McKinlay was ordained as a minister of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in 1998. He became an Australian Army Chaplain in 2008. He is married to Dorothy, and they have three grown up daughters: Jennifer, Nina, and Fionna. Neil is Canadian born, but was raised in Scotland. Dorothy and he migrated to Canada from Scotland in 1980 and began a family. They moved to Australias sunny shores with their three daughters in 1990 and have resided there ever since. In 2011 Nordskog Publishing, Inc. released McKinlays captivating and poetic memoir relating his journey from Freemasonry to the fulfillment of his calling as a minister of the Gospel, entitled From Mason to Minister: Through the Lattice.
Australians! Who are we? Most of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. Apart from the relatively small indigenous population, our citizens have overseas origins. In the main we are a peace-loving society; we value our defense forces which keep our shores safe from the excesses of foreign influences which would otherwise curtail the great freedoms we often take for granted. Our news bulletins are continually reporting wars, conflicts, civil unrest and a host of other events including natural disasters, that tear peoples lives apart in many parts of the world. Often our reaction is one of indifference; our hearts are hardened by the constant bombardment of these disheartening reports and it is much easier to treat them impersonally, so we can more easily dismiss them from our minds. Facts and figures about horrifying deaths, physical, mental and emotional scarring and injuries, destruction of housing and food sources, things we would normally find harrowing are pushed aside as we become more and more inured to these devastating events.
Jeffersons Tears, Neil Cullan McKinlays latest novel changes our outlook on human suffering from mildly sympathetic to wildly empathetic, as we are exposed to the experiences of the intriguing protagonist Jefferson Williams Kollie. Jefferson is just nine years old when he is introduced to the reader; he is experiencing depravity and suffering that beggars belief. As the story unfolds we are subtly informed of the historical backdrop to the novel and given a close-up picture of Jeffersons family life. McKinlay artfully draws on the readers emotions as Jeffersons life unfolds, revealing a surprising resilient Christian faith in spite of his witnessing ruthless and brutal human behavior.McKinlays story, Jeffersons Tears, is well told; the distressing events are tempered with humorous anecdotes without detracting from the underlying serious nature of the overall thrust of the narrative. A great read, an encouragement for Christians, and thought-provoking for those seeking a more meaningful life.
Author: Neil McKinlay
Located in: Brisbane, Australia
Submitted: December 25, 2018
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a Christian, married with three daughters, four grandchildren a West Highland Terrier. I love reading, writing and playing soccer.
What was your motivation behind this project? Jefferson's Tears was a story that had to be told. I met and interviewed Jefferson only to discover that he was named after Thomas Jefferson. Thus I began to research the story of Liberia and, like Jefferson's name, its multiple connections with America, its founding and founders. Liberia (ie, the Land of the Free) is essentially a black version of USA. Like the US, after its founding Liberia descended into civil war. Jefferson was born into this and miraculously survived its terrors. God is given the glory for safely guiding Jefferson through this and subsequently delivering him. Both my and Jefferson's motivation behind this project is the glory of God.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I hope folks will gain a deeper appreciation of the God-given freedoms we in the West enjoy and seek to retain them. The USA is the great Christian experiment on the North American continent. Liberia, based on the American one, is the great Christian experiment on the African continent. Both hit roadblocks, civil war, relating to race. This issue will never be fully be resolved uless and until we get back to the Declaration of Independence generally, and particularly those words of Thomas Jefferson, "All men are created equal". Whether white or black, Americo-Liberian or white resident of Liberia etc. the full ramifications of those Biblically endorsed words need to be studied and fully understood. It is the very essence of human freedom on earth. folks will gain a deeper insight and hopefully a deeper appreciation of The Declaration, Constitution and Bill of Rights of these two related countries.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Jefferson's resilient character and nature impacted me. How can someone who has gone through what he has gone through still have it all together? How does he manage to keep it together? He loves his job in the Australian Army. He smiles and sings as he does his work. But what about all your painful baggage Jefferson? The Lord is his Shepherd. As we read your harrowing story may it help encourage us to trust in the Lord daily too! Jefferson's childlike faith impacted me as worked on this project. it still does.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Though not necessarily my favourite authors, both the styles of writing of Bill O'Reilly and Dan Brown influenced me in the writing of Jefferson's Tears. O'Reilly for his time and date at the head of each chapter in his "The Killing of..." series, and Brown for his cliffhanger appraoch at the end of each of his chapters. The "time and date" at the beginning of each chapter serves to get get and hold the reader in the "present tense" of the action, also it supplies the reader with the important historical context. The cliffhanger at the end of each urges the reader to want to return to that part of the story while reading new action and information. I like the poetic prose of Scottish writer James Barke, but I tried to keep Jefferson's Tears cinematic rather than verbose.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I'll add a summary of Jefferson's Tears here shortly.