Today’s guest post is by my good friend Ian Dexter Palmer.
I am a scientist….actually a physicist who has spent years studying cosmic rays and fracking. I have a granddaughter who is 16, and a grandson who is 13. They are in the challenging years, so I chose to write about the lure of sex and drugs (call it Weed). These kids also know about faith in God (call it Water). I wanted to write about the tension within many teenagers as they are sucked back and forth by the Weed and the Water.
The Water is offered by a mysterious figure who rescues a boy and his mentor from drowning. The mystery is multiplied when the figure returns again and again to provide wisdom to the teenager at his lowest ebb. I have always been fascinated by the intersection of science and faith. Especially when in a pub in Ireland a native claimed with astonishment that he knew no other scientists who had an active faith. So I wanted to write about the positives of doing science and knowing the God of faith.
Last, all my life I have been an adventurer, and I wanted to include in this book a canoeing accident on a flooded river, a hike to find petroglyphs in the badlands of New Mexico, hiding from a tornado in an underground shelter in Kansas, and water-moccasins while water-skiing.
What’s the takeaway? Teens are influenced by outside forces: peer-pressure (wanting to be cool and popular), sports heroes, rock stars, parents, the church, et cetera. The choices teens make can land them in a swamp or in a garden. The book explores the choices made by a star high-school athlete…..for good and for bad. It’s a story of pain and hurt…..inflicted on the boy and by the boy on his mother, a single parent struggling to do her best. But it’s also a story of hope in the possibility of redemption. And the role of God who takes a special interest in the boy from Albuquerque.
Originally from Australia, Ian lives in the high desert in his beloved Southwest USA. As a petroleum engineer, recently retired, he consulted all over the world.
When he hikes with them or watches them play sports, Ian’s grandchildren are a particular source of happiness.
His main interests are hiking, dancing, writing, and stimulating conversation.
Ian regularly writes a new blog on various topics relating to Christian faith, and has also written a book called Hiking Toward Heaven.
You can find out more about Ian at http://www.iandexterpalmer.com/
Weed and Water by Ian Dexter Palmer, Ph. D.
A mysterious stranger helps a teenage boy called Ethan rescue his mentor, an elderly father-figure, from drowning when their canoe capsizes in a flooding river. A star athlete, Ethan later gets involved in unsafe sex, which leads to drugs, and gets him blackballed by jealous and gossiping team-mates. The boy is going down, and at times hates himself for it and for hurting his mom who is a caring, loving, and beautiful woman.
After another disastrous episode, where Ethan might have died, the river-stranger turns up again to confront him about his life choices. However, even after rehab, the boy’s condition is marked by a yo-yo attitude which causes massive emotional heartache for his mom.
The river-stranger, after sharing his own amazing history, suggests taking the fight to another level which draws on the resources of God. This begins a new and fascinating sequence of events, including a tornado, which get Ethan’s attention.
This book is a captivating story, packed with adventure in the desert Southwest and in the rivers and lakes of the Midwest USA. But it is also a goldmine of spiritual wisdom for teenagers. The mystery that permeates the story is compelling, and the thrilling ending may call for a tissue or two.