Let’s Chat! The Advocate

Welcome, everyone!

I have the pleasure of spotlighting a masterful piece of work by Randy Singer: The Advocate. It fits perfectly on the stage and among the props of our recent Holy Week.

The Advocate

This 2014 novel by Randy Singer centers on Theophilus, a brilliant young assessore (advocate/attorney) in A.D. 33 Jerusalem, who witnesses and unwittingly contributes to the trial that changed the history of the world: Jesus’. This young man is one of Rome’s elite. In addition, he studied under Seneca the Younger alongside Caligula, who was to become one of the most notorious of Roman Caesars.

As a fourteen-year-old student, Theophilus found himself at odds with his friend and fellow student, Caligula. He couldn’t have imagined where his life’s path would take him–all the way to the cross of Christ.

The Trial of Jesus

At Jesus’ trial, Theophilus stands behind Pilate and whispers, “Offer to release Barabbas.” Jesus is obviously innocent. Theophilus figures if given the opportunity, the people will choose the release of the gentle man over a blackhearted criminal. Surely.

But the strategy backfires. And Theophilus witnesses an innocent man suffering as a guilty one and dying by crucifixion. The trial alters the world. And the experience never leaves the advocate. It haunts him.

The Trial of Paul

Three decades later, Theophilus has proven himself in the legal ranks of the Roman Empire. He has survived the insane rule of Caligula and has weathered the cruel tyrant’s quest to control the woman he loves. He has endured the mindless violence of the gladiator games and the backstabbing intrigue of the treason trials.

However, it is the trial of a man named Paul that proves to be the apex of this young man’s life and the defining experience for his troubled soul. Remembering the injustice of the first trial, he sets out to prove Paul’s innocence and thereby change the fate of the empire.

But can the advocate stand before the most notorious Caesar of them all–Nero–and mount an effective defense that will keep another innocent man from execution? 

My Thoughts

I was deeply moved by this story. No wonder it was a 2015 Christy Award finalist and winner of the 2015 ECPA Christian Book Award. As a lover of historical fiction, I was captivated by Singer’s presentation of the advocate’s training at the feet of Seneca. And by the unique weaving into the story line his friendship with Caligula as a boy.

The scene in which the advocate finds himself an unwitting witness to the trial of Christ and spontaneously offers his idea to Pilate is mesmerizing. His haunting memory of the injustice of Jesus’ trial, and his defense of Paul will remain with me always. 

I wholeheartedly recommend this powerful novel. It brings Ben Her to mind. It’s thoroughly researched and masterfully presented. Absorb the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters of John prior to reading this novel. Go back to Acts and reacquaint yourself with Paul’s missionary journeys. Reread his prison epistles: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon, and I believe you’ll be as captivated as I was. 

Like me, you might experience a goosebump or two. Let me know your reaction. I’d love to chat with you about it.

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Lord, we pray Your blessings on Randy Singer as he writes for You. And let us not fail to tell others the greatest story ever heard.
~ For Jesus’ sake


2 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! The Advocate

  1. Debbey

    Love your books!

    1. Thank you, Debbey!


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Christy Brunke Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite

Welcome, everyone!

Christy Brunke, author of Snow out of Season, appears as my Featured Favorite this week. Snow Out of Season was a #1 Amazon bestseller in two categories and was Library Journal’s Christian Fiction Debut of the Month in November 2015. I’m delighted to present Christy’s first novel as one of my favorites.

Christy and I “met” in cyberspace in 2015, as we were two of the three winners of the Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel contest. Christy placed 3rd, Clarice James placed 2nd, and my The Calling of Ella McFarland placed 1st.

Sharing this billing resulted in my getting to know Christy Brunke as personally as two people can considering you’re floating around in cyberspace. We actually met face to face at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference in 2017. This meeting confirmed my previous cyber impressions of this author, wife, and mother. 

Christy Brunke equals a breath of warm enthusiasm and devotion to the Lord. And she’s the author of a keeper of a novel. Period.

Christy is offering a hard copy of Snow out of Season to one drawing winner.

My Take on Snow out of Season

Christy BrunkeSnow out of Season by Christy Brunke is a book every pastor and youth pastor should have on his/her shelf. Here’s why:

The United States ranked 13th in the world in the number of abortions performed in 2018. That’s better than previous years and definitely better than 1st place, but how wonderful if we were LAST place. 

Abortion is an emotional subject that can spark more fire than light. So a book that presents the issue in novel form from the perspectives of two key players of two different generations–and one that does so with the creativity and sensitivity of Snow out of Season deserves to be highlighted.

Teens and adults will enjoy this unforgettable story.

Snow out of Season, a la the Back of the Book

Shannon Henry is just starting to put her life back together after the death of her infant daughter when she discovers she’s pregnant again. Afraid of losing another child, at first she hides the news from her husband Wade. When her doctor presents her with the choice of either raising a child with Down syndrome or terminating the pregnancy, Shannon is torn. Then things strangely start going missing—their wedding picture, a bracelet with charms for their three children, Wade’s clothes on the floor which she’s always complained about. And why is she having nightmares about losing her husband?

Leslie Gardner is a high-school senior in 1979 who dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, but she discovers she is pregnant too. If she has the child, her chances of a dancing career and college are over, but her friend shows her another option. If she secretly has an abortion like her boyfriend wants, her problems will be over and her life can go on as planned.

While Shannon wrestles with her sanity, Leslie struggles with whether or not to tell her parents. Each must make a decision that will alter both the future and the past forever.





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Lord, we declare You the Creator of all and the originator of life. As such, we lay our babies at Your feet and pray You’ll bring the slaughter to an end. Please bless Christy as a wife, mother, and writer. And multiply tenfold the good from each word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake


Abortion statistic source: https://binged.it/2GqtD94 

2 thoughts on “Christy Brunke Let’s Chat! Featured Favorite

  1. So timely for what our country is going through with all the abortion issues. Sounds like a good read for every age group. My mother, pregnant at forty-five, was told by family doctor to abort. She went to a specialist who saved both she and the baby. I applaud any woman who is willing to put her child’s life ahead of every other circumstance. Your book sounds encouraging .

    1. Hi, Jane. So good to get your comments. Bless you!


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