By John Pierce

This blog may appear like a commercial. In a sense, I guess, it is.

I am encouraging you to read a new book titled Tarnished Haloes, Open Hearts: A Story of Finding and Giving Acceptance by Lynelle Mason. You can order a copy in print or digital download at You will be glad you did; it is a remarkable story.

Disclosure: I edited the book and it has just been released as a part of a new publishing effort that I helped create. But that is not why I’m suggesting the book to you in this blog.

It is a really compelling, honest story — with important insights into how mature faith and unconditional love can grow out of struggles.

Before going to press, I sent the manuscript to three persons in hopes of getting endorsements. I simply asked that they read the first couple of chapters and let me know if the book has merit. Their common response was: “You tricked me; I couldn’t put it down until the end.”

My discovery of Lynelle’s remarkable life story came a couple of years ago when I was spending weekends as the pulpit pinch-hitter at the First Baptist Church of Chattanooga. Like many people do, Lynelle told me she was a writer and asked that I look at some of her work.

My response to her writing was two-fold: One, she is a very gifted storyteller. And, two, she has a most remarkable life story that reads like a novel.

So for about a year or so, Lynelle continued to write and I continued to edit her story. We chose to put the story into the form of a novel even though it is biographical. (She has pictures to prove it — some of which are in the book.)

Warning: This is not some sanitized “Christian” book that makes faithful living look like one quiet walk along the beach after another. It is about the real challenges of life that test faith and old ways of thinking. It is about grace and hope that break through the real experiences of those who hold on to faith in God against great odds.

Lynelle’s late husband, Claude Mason, was longtime pastor of the First Baptist Church of Rossville, Ga., (near Chattanooga) and then a popular interim pastor in that area. While I knew of Lynelle before my weekend ventures in Chattanooga a couple of years ago, I did not know her personally nor have any idea that her life journey was such an adventure.

Likewise, many of her fellow church members, neighbors and other friends are saying the same thing now after reading her remarkable story. Whether you know her personally or not, you have the chance to get well acquainted by reading Tarnished Haloes, Open Hearts.

You will be surprised — and inspired — and hopeful — and glad you took my advice, at least this one time.

You may order the book (along with other good titles) at now.

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