Thursday, July 16, 2015

Meet Lori Stanley Roeleveld, Disturber of Hobbits!

Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored an unsettling blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, Lori learned the most important things from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. You’ll find her at her website If not, know she’s off somewhere slaying dragons. Not available for children’s parties.

Lori, thank you for joining me today. Let’s begin with the question everyone asks about your book, who IS the crazy man?

My title, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus), comes from the story of King David. David knew God had anointed him king and had every reason to believe his path would lead straight to the throne. It must have created incredible confusion for David to find himself spending part of his life running from King Saul but we know God was present and active in David’s life even then.

What is the message in that for modern believers that you explore in the book?

In the seventies, the message communicated about Jesus was that He would make our lives better. That’s true but it doesn’t always look or feel the way we expect. Many of us begin our life with Christ with expectant hope, but not all of those hopes are realistic. When our lives detour down roads called disaster, disease, depression, or personal devastation, we’re tempted to pull off to the side of the narrow road and wonder what happened. I wrote Running from a Crazy Man for those moments in every believer’s life when following Jesus doesn’t make sense, to encourage us all to remain in the adventure.

This is such an important message you are sharing! Walking with Christ is a journey of growth, not a stroll in the park. 

Alton Gansky called your book an “unconventional devotional.” Tell us how you’ve designed each chapter.

Each chapter is adapted from a popular post on my blog so they’re short – usually under 1000 words. The titles are quirky such as Elephant Repellent, Church Bullies, and I Hope that You’re Perturbed but I include headings to help you know what each is about such as Following Jesus when You’re Feeling Useless, or Following Jesus when Other People are Mean. I’ve concluded each chapter with scripture references, thought questions, and words to remember so readers can use this book as a daily devotional or with a Bible Study/small group.

I notice that rather than a Foreword, your book has a Forewarned written by bestselling author, James L. Rubart.

Readers tell me they enjoy the humor of my posts but always know that something in the post will unsettle or challenge them in their faith. When they forward my posts to others, I’ve noticed they often warn that the post may create discomfort that may lead to action. I decided to embrace reader reaction to my voice. Challenge is what I seek in my spiritual life. I’ve loved Jesus for over fifty years and I know the temptation of settling in, getting too comfortable, or expecting to drift through my later years on cruise control. I always want Jesus to spur me on to a deeper relationship with Him. God uses hard times in my life to unsettle me and like Frodo (from Lord of the Rings), I’ve learned that even though I resist it, I do like adventure with Jesus. I hope to invite and incite others to continue in the Jesus adventure.

Is that where you came about the tagline, "Disturber of Hobbits?"

Yes, exactly. I love the Lord and I love the church. As much as I’m aware of the shortcomings of the church of Jesus, I just love the family of God. I equate believers with hobbits because hobbits like comfy settings, we like our meals on time, and we resist adventures because they make us late for dinner. When I write, I use humor but also gentle exhortation to remind us all of the goals set forth in scripture. I’ve been making comfortable Christians “late for dinner” for many years now – I included.

What advice do you have for other bloggers?

Partner with God in your work and don’t underestimate the power of “small.” I hear bloggers complain, “Only 30 people read by last post.” If 30 people showed up on your doorstep asking your thoughts on God, you’d consider that a ministry. Respect the value of a small but faithful readership. Pray for them and give them your best work. We don’t write for numbers, we write for readers. Each one has value in God’s eyes. My blog is small but God uses it in big ways for His glory.

Following is an encouraging devotional from Lori.

When All the Other Trees Are in Bloom
by Lori Stanley Roeleveld

All the other trees are in bloom.

“Don’t tell Hannah, but I think that tree is dead.” My husband said quietly, looking out on our front lawn.

“Give it a little time.” I urged.

We’ve only just moved into this home and the tree of which he speaks is impressive and promising but barren of any sign of life. Our daughter is enthralled with it, though, so I can’t imagine how she would handle news of its demise.

All the other trees were barren just a month ago but now they’ve all put on their summer clothes and are decked out in their finest greens.

My husband just shook his head. “I’ll tell you right now. It’s destined for burning.”

Every day, I watch the tree, scouring it for any sign of life.

Today, it began.

I think that most people walking by wouldn’t notice but I’ve been waiting. Scattered here and there among the maze of gray branches are the beginnings of tiny, jagged leaves. I sigh in relief. It isn’t dead it just lags behind the rest. It has a lot of catching up to do but I know that come summer, no one will know that it was late in blooming.

Sometimes I feel like that tree. I think others look at me and shake their heads. “She had such promise.” They think. “She looks like she could be something but nothing seems to be happening with her. Such a disappointment.” My leaves are so slow in appearing that people give up and go to gas up their chain saws.

Fortunately, for me, God is most patient. There is life within me yet and I have this promise from Him. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV)

Are you a late bloomer like my tree? Do you lag behind the others and wonder when you will be touched with the full-bloom of spring?

If you have been planted in the fertile soil of Jesus Christ and your roots have dug deep into His heart, then you will bloom in your season. Don’t listen to the sound of those chainsaws, loved one, they aren’t for you.

Thank you, Lori, that was beautiful.

Readers, please leave a comment, subscribe to my blog, or Tweet to enter
the drawing for a paper back copy of Running from a Crazy Man. If you Tweet
or subscribe, please scroll down to the contact form on the right and let me
know. Thank you! 

Tweet this: Wondering why your life is on a detour? Lori Roeleveld shares hope in Running from a Crazy Man. #JesusisLord

Tweet this: What does it mean to be a “Disturber of Hobbits?” #hobbits #bookgiveaway #Christianbooks

Tweet this: How can you reach people with your blog? Lori Roeleveld shares insights. #amwriting #bloggingtips


  1. You had me at hobbits. I have two trees in my front yard that lag behind all the others, we call them the witch trees. While the neighborhood blooms in pink and white every spring, ours look like the holdovers from Halloween. Eventually they turn green, but in there own sweet time. Great description of Christians.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Okay, let's try that again. Hopefully my reply won't look like
    such a mess this time!

    So glad you stopped by today, J'nell. I agree, a reference to hobbits gets
    me every time as well! I agree, Lori's description of the late blooming tree
    was right on target. It's especially how I can feel if I'm comparing myself
    to other believers. But the Lord's plan is different for each of our
    lives and He is right on time! I sure appreciate your comment.

  4. Thanks, J'nell. Since I was 53 when my first book was published, I relate to the late bloom!

  5. Karen Wingate said...
    Lori's words, "Don't underestimate the power of small" were such an affirmation to me today. Yes, blogging is a ministry and I need to pray more and think more about the people I serve. Thank you!

  6. Karen, thank you for your comment and your insight. I appreciate the blogging ministry
    you have!