[Book Review] Glaen: A Novel Message on Romance,Love and Relationships by Dr. Fred Lybrand

by

About the Book:

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 storyline 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 staying power, especially a relationship as intimate as marriage.

When Annie meets her new writing professor, a rather unconventional teacher named Glaen, 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 Hughes 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 then 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 relationships she is developing within her own life.

Annie’s discoveries are both simple and profound, and 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 readers 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.

About the Author:

Maybe it’s because his dad was a lawyer and state legislator, or maybe it’s because he grew up in Alabama with something to prove, or maybe he just found a good use for his self-proclaimed ADHD, but whatever the cause, Fred Lybrand has become a careful thinker in a number of disciplines. If you are looking at a topic with Dr. Lybrand, then you are guaranteed to see things like you never have before. “I finally discovered that I’m one of those unfocused students that just likes to learn everything. I guess God made me to be a knowledge broker—-I learn some hopefully useful information and then give it to others who need it,” Lybrand describes of his own love for learning and teaching.

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 at Dallas Theological Seminary. Lybrand graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1989 and received a doctorate from Phoenix Seminary, 2007.
In January 2010, Dr. Lybrand retired from a 24-year career as a pastor of two churches in Texas. At Midland Bible Church he helped build a church which has launched ministries in several continents (including successful church-planting efforts in Uganda), as well as serving as a founding board (and faculty) member for Midland Classical Academy, a Socratic-method based 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 the San Antonio area, 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 context 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.com), an organization committed to coordinating and connecting the various “free grace” leaders, organizations, and churches in the USA and abroad.

Dr. Lybrand’s interests in communication, teamwork, and individual giftedness has led him into human resource consulting with a variety of companies and firms including large independent oil and gas exploration companies—Burlington Resources (now ConocoPhillips), Marathon Oil, Encana, and Pioneer Natural Resources. His work with Pioneer Natural Resources led Lybrand and Hermann Eben to develop a leadership development and organizational consulting business, TrimTab Solutions. Under the mentoring of Robert Fritz, Lybrand is certified as a Business Structural Consultant, an Individual Structural Consultant, a Creating What Matters Facilitator, a Kolbe Conative Index Interpreter, a Consultant in Natural Church Development Processes, and a Think on Your Feet Associate and is also certified in the Kolbe Conative Index and the MBTI. All of these studies have to do with how to improve effectiveness in human contribution.

Lybrand has been married to Jody White Lybrand, his college sweetheart, for 27 years. They have five children: Tripp, Laura, Forrest, Holmes, and Brooks. Jody has a Master’s degree in early childhood education and does the larger share of the homeschooling for the Lybrand gang, all of whom have been schooled from birth to college at home. Dr. Lybrand agrees that “if you can’t say it you don’t know it,” and with writing as his first love, he created The Writing Course a curriculum to teach kids to overcome every fear of writing on the way to writing well.

In addition to Glaen, Lybrand has written and published five other books entitled Heavenly Citizenship: The Spiritual Alternative to Power Politics; The Absolute Quickest Way to Help Your Child Change; About Life and Uganda; and Preaching on Your Feet, and Back to Faith: Reclaiming Gospel Clarity in an Age of Incongruence.

My Review:
I was not expecting a novel quite like this, when I agreed to review this novel. However, that doesn’t mean that this book is not worth reading. In fact, I encourage EVERYONE to read this novel. It is written by Dr. Fred Lybrand, a doctor who has skills at creating an interesting, fact filled novel that helps people have a better understanding of love and relationships with a Christian message.

I am no longer married, and so that is why, I feel, that I wasn’t expecting a novel quite like this. It would have been great to have read this book back when I was married. Unfortunately, I didn’t so I will go with my feelings on the here and now of this novel.

Dr. Lybrand creates Annie’s character with vivacious details. She is a character that everyone can learn from as she learns right from wrong and how important honesty is with everyone in every relationship. I certainly learned a lot from her and will apply the lessons she taught me in the future.

I highly recommend that everyone read this novel. It is a self help book written in the form of a 4 star novel, making it one that is interesting and engaging. Definitely full of wonderful lessons and messages that speak to the heart and will help guide you in a marriage relationship as well as any and all other relationships that you encounter in your life.

You can purchase your copy here.

*This book was provided for review by B&B Media group*

27 September, 2010
Previous Post Next Post

1 Comment

  • Reply Burciko 28 September, 2010 at 8:20 pm
  • Cafinated Reads Loves Comments!

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: