Glaen by Fred R. Lybrand
The Barnabas Agency February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-578-04652-5/softcover/171 pages/$14.99
In a world where love is romanticized by vampires and far-off adventures of undying love-at-first-sight, audiences don’t always have the opportunity to read stories that reflect God’s design for love. Author Fred Lybrand takes an in-depth look into relationships and dating, plus a little common sense for the real day-to-day world, in his latest book, Glaen.
Lybrand has chosen a unique and effective way to present his knowledge of human relationships and romance by creating a story line that allows readers to walk alongside believable characters as they discover and explore an exciting and more effective way to relate to those with whom they will share life’s most intimate relationships. Having spent more than twenty-four years as a pastor, Lybrand is deeply involved in caring for people, and he wants others to know the freedom that can be found in relating to others truthfully and without pretense.
Glaen introduces the character of Annie Hughes just as she suffers the loss of one of life’s foundational relationships–her parents’ marriage. As a graduate student, Annie suddenly finds herself at a loss to understand how any relationship finds and maintains lifetime power, especially a relationship as intimate as marriage.
Then Annie meets her new writing professor, a rather unconventional teacher named Glaen (rhymes with rain), and her life is set upon a path of both self-discovery and the exploration of romantic relationships. She begins this class with the intention to help others, but quickly learns that she must first develop a teachable spirit, and her own faith proves to be the pivotal starting point for her journey. Annie then begins to honestly explore how men and women relate to one another as God designed them to do.
Lybrand’s character development of Annie allows him to outline several foundational truths. Using Annie’s ‘research’ and ‘journal’ entries as the vehicle to present thought-provoking ideas to the reader, Lybrand first uncovers the lies of a secular world-view and counters those lies with the truth of God’s design for the marriage relationship. These observations are made even clearer as the reader observes Annie’s interaction with other couples and friends who are in the process of dating and considering marriage. As she questions her friends’ choices, she also takes an honest look at the relationship she is developing within her own life.
Annie’s discoveries are both simple and profound–truth itself proves to be the foundation upon which all relationships hinge. The discovery that truth can only operate effectively within a relationship when people relate to one another without pretense and unrealistic expectations proves to be life-changing for the characters in many ways.
The life-changing principles found in Glaen are the gems Lybrand wants the reader to take from the story and experience in their own lives and relationships. Thus, Glaen is a book that demands a second reading as those who read its story will want to go through it again and highlight and examine the truths Annie uncovers throughout her journey. This book will serve as a great teaching tool for parents to use with their children as well as for church leaders guiding couples who are seeking a more satisfying marriage relationship.
Fred R. Lybrand attended the University of Alabama and majored in English Literature, with a double-minor emphasis in speech communication and fiction writing. He went on to teach the introductory speech communications class while also attending law school at Alabama. A hunger to understand the Word of God, however, led him to withdraw in order to pursue theological studies ad Dallas Theological Seminary. Lybrand graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1989 and received a doctorate from Phoenix Seminary in 2007.
In January 2020, Dr. Lybrand retired from a 24-year career as a pastor of two churches in TX. At Midland Bible Church he helped build a church which has launched ministries in several continents (church-planting efforts in Uganda), as well as serving as a founding board (and faculty) member for Midland Classical Academy high school. The school provides a “classical education” focused on teaching students through the Socratic Method using classical books, interactive science, and math, logic, fine arts, and the creative process–all built on the foundation of the Bible. At Northeast Bible Church (Evangelical Free Church) in San Antonio are, Dr. Lybrand helped redesign the church to grow as a disciple-making center for promoting the grace of God. Teaching and counseling in the church contest has been a long-term focus of Lybrand’s labors.
Lybrand is also the founding executive director and a past president of the Free Grace Alliance (www.freegracealliance.om), an organization committed to coordinating and connecting the various “free grace” leaders, organizations, and churches in the USA and abroad.
Fred Lybrand and his college sweetheart, Jody White Lynbrand, have been married for 27 years and have five children. Jody has a Master’s degree in early childhood education. All of their children have been home-schooled from birth to college. Fred has also recreated “The Writing Course,” a curriculum to teach kids to overcome every fear of writing on the way to writing well.
Glaen was one of the more unique ways I’ve seen to present information about the subject of relationships, particularly marriage. The ‘research’ and ‘journal’ notes of Annie are the principles that Lybrand expounds on. The relationships in the story are real, especially in today’s world, so the premise is extraordinarily realistic. You will come away with the truths of God’s way for a great, thriving marriage if you are willing to apply what you learn. The secular world-view ideas are contrasted against God’s views, and are pivotal in building a strong relationship. A definite recommendation to young people considering marriage and for marriages that could use a boost to their relationship.
Giveaway!!! Please leave a comment on a piece of advice you received about dating/marriage that helped you. One entry per person. Chances of winning will be determined by the number of comments. Limited to the USA.
Audra at The B & B Media Group, Inc. provided a book for my review and a second copy to give away. I read/review to encourage Godly books for people to build their lives upon.