||Cuban Christian writer
||2008, Copyright Office, United States of America
Roberto Ornan Roche, a Christian writer from Cuba, is an internationally recognized author with stories published in English and Spanish. His book, A Lighthouse of Asaph, is a story collection capturing the emotions and longings of a Cuban heart. The stories were written in an attempt to reconcile the author’s life of faith with a society that discourages it. Born out of fear and sadness, sadness from praying for dreams that were never realized, A Lighthouse of Asaph is a book to encourage you and help you find meaning in your circumstances.
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The Lighthouse of Asaph
Some years ago I wrote a series of stories. I wrote them without thinking about publishing them, much less to share this set of stories with so many people; I only experienced that with my closest friends and some relatives.
Little by little those stories were increasing, not only in number but also concerning the amount of personal feelings and creative and fancy options that were able to get out of my own heart. Then a Pastor from the Dominican Republic, who placed on me his confidence, prayers and support, encouraged me to continue writing them, with the fact that they could be good to help others.
My life was full of sadness. I could see people everywhere receiving apparently undeserved miracles, but my miracle seemed to be completely impossible, without understanding that a miracle was also happening to me. The sort of facts that I was waiting for, events of the past thought to be dead that could revive again in the present, never really happened, but outstanding things did, so I could change my life and see many other good things.
Then, one day I gathered all those stories into a book which I entitled "The Lighthouse of Asaph", because I like lighthouses a lot, and the name of Asaph due to a man of the Bible who was sad and discouraged. That biblical name had been engraved on my mind when one night one of the young people of my church came to visit me accompanied by others. He wanted to encourage me spiritually and used an illustration based on Asaph. I used to visit lighthouses of Cuba and made reports for pleasure; and as the lighthouses are generally associated with the guide of Jesus for us, I made the decision to use that allegory.
Every year, when arriving the terrible and threatening hurricanes of the Caribbean, I lose sleep and the happiness, fearing that the strong winds could pull up the trees that my father planted almost forty years ago; some of them are already rootless, but there are still many in foot and this fact is one of the best memories that I have of him. Many times my mother and I were praying next to the door while the wind blew irresistibly outdoors. When I think of something like that, I also imagine that our faith can be considered as trees which are looked after by other people, new ones can be planted as renovated reasons and good actions and ideals to be fed, comparable with lovely kept seeds of those old demolished trees. A new way to rescue the faith from the mean of the pain that exists around us may be thought as well.
Many times my memories and thoughts transformed into dry leaves, then they were gathered as ashes, but one day, miraculously, all those ideals began to hold testimonies, varied texts and memories that could be good for others to begin again. It was not a simply personal game of learning how to use words but of reviving myself when using them.
2. The Perfect Story (Published by In Touch Magazine, Dr. Charles Stanley Ministries)
3. A Special Feeling
4. Rejecting Job
6. The Hug of David
7. Dinning with The Lord
8. The Drafts of Samson
9. Sand in my Eyes
10. A Red Sea for a Lifetime
11. Simply the Best
12. The Friendship's Secret
13. The Miracle of the Time
14. The Last Sheep
15. The Trains of Life
16. The Lighthouse of Asaph
17. The Wheel of Life
18. The Only Play
19. My Helmsman
20. Abandoned Baggage
21. The Mountain
22. My Place
23. Life of Promises: an Eternal Blessing
25. The Christian Runner
26. Elim was on Sight
27. A Vessel Forever
28. The Man That Ate Poppies
29. Let us Start Living from His Love!
32. What God Makes...
33. A Prayer for a Wound
34. The Evil Chef
35. The Blind Angel
*From Cuba: God bless you all!
The Perfect Story
By Roberto Ornan Roche
They wanted the “perfect” story, without miracles and without churches, so that sin did not seem so bad, nor the Christians so good; where the suffering one, the abandoned one, and the ordinary one did not count. A story to give meaning to the vanity of the World and to open the doors equally to all the experiences.
They wanted clearly understood the reason why evil covers and overcomes good so easily; the reason why the man who has abandoned his wife can hardly remember her affection, her tender care, and her love without measure; and while she is thinking that she is present in his mind, she is for him only a vagrant and uncomfortable memory that never appears in the most meritorious moments of the day.
They wanted a story full of peace and harmony; with a God who does not abide by all His promises; and with many children who claim not to believe in Him; but with capable men who are willing to substitute Him with their songs.
They intended a story of long roads without shade, all of them built by man's hands and with the blood of others, they also intended to step on the grass without noticing the dead butterflies. They thought the forbidden fruit would be a trophy, and the mantle of iniquity that human beings take inside would be similar to their own freedom.
They imagined a story where sinners and their blasphemies were applauded and fully accepted because there are always new rights to conceive. A story of new experiences, without prodigal children, which never forgives the past, and follows a new road without looking backwards. A story where errors did not count and they were taken as lived experiences.
They wanted a story without tears or pain, without cancer, without thorns or angels.
They wanted a story without me, without my brethren, without regrets or redemption; a story without Heaven.
They wanted a “perfect” story, without Psalms, a Godless eternity, but they only had the story of the Saviour who died on the cross of the Calvary, and they did not really like that story very much.
Inspiring Reflections, 5 Stars review, by Emelia Mosima
TLife is meant to be shared and it always pleases me when a person decides to share not only their strength, success and victories but also their weaknesses, failures and losses. This is exactly what Roberto Ornan Roche did in his book, The Lighthouse of Asaph: Unforgettable Christian Reflections. I relate with this writings because I have also experienced failures and success in my Christian journey.
The Lighthouse of Asaph is a compilation of short stories creatively and beautifully written. It offers true and practical reflections of the Christian life and the Christian community. Every page contains relevant insights for the walk of the redeemed. The greatness and love of God are portrayed in a practical and sometimes amusing way. There is no doubt that you will feel loved and wanted by God after reading this book. As you dive further into the book you will be inspired and propelled to move forward with the journey of life despite the discomforts of the road.
If you enjoy reading inspirational short stories, this book is for you. You can also buy this book as a gift for someone who feels like their lives are not making any advancement and needs some uplifting. If you have a friend or you know someone you want to remind that God cares about them and sees their struggles, get them this book.
Unexpected Pleasures from Cuba, 5 Stars review, by Martin Roth
I knew nothing about the church in Cuba. Now that I have met Roberto, in the pages of his book, I know a little.
This is a collection of about three dozen short and simple devotionals, a reflection of the author's faith and an expression of his love of the Lord.
The best are those that tell a story about life in Cuba today.
In "The Man That Ate Poppies" the author is at a bus station when he meets an elderly man carrying a flag with the motto "Cuba for Christ." They share a taxi ride, and along the way the man, while talking about the Bible, starts eating poppies, which he believes to be good for his health.
In "Roofs" we meet a woman who belongs to the author's church. She suffers kidney problems and requires regular dialysis. Yet "her faith remains" and "she smiles at me without sorrow."
Though it would have been good to have more such stories about the people of Cuba, this remains a lovely - and loving - collection of messages that will surely touch the heart of any Christian reader.
A Faith Builder, 5 Stars review, by Larry B. Gray
Roberto Ornan Roche's book "The Lighthouse of Asaph: Unforgettable Christian Reflections" is a collection of beautifully written devotionals/essays on the joys and struggles of daily Christian life. It is a very deep and thought provoking book that will touch the core of your soul. I found the book to be both encouraging and inspiring.
There are some issues with the translation from the author's Spanish language to English. This should not be a deterrent in buying and reading the book. The depth and honesty found in the stories more than overcome these translation issues. This book is a faith builder.
I recommend "The Lighthouse of Asaph: Unforgettable Christian Reflections" by Roberto Ornan Roche.
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