On September 2, 2008, our twin daughters, Kayla and Kelsey, were returning home from Lubbock-Cooper high school after basketball practice. A 40,000 lb. dump veered into their lane. Kelsey was driving. She was 18. Kayla was injured, but lived.
Kelsey was a genuine Christian, the real deal. We were sent spiraling on a spiritual journey, a parent’s worst nightmare. The book describes our life beforehand, both as a family and where each of us were spiritually, but most of the story focuses on our travail after the accident. We were racked with grief, denial, questions, confusion and anger, all of which shook us emotionally, physically and spiritually. Each of us dealt with these things in different ways and at different times, yet certain common denominators existed. We also describe how each of us had to find forgiveness in our heart for the driver and owner of the dump truck. Nearly a year after Kelsey’s death, we set down and started writing our story. Our goal was to help others who were going through a similar gut-wrenching loss, as well as anyone questioning their religious faith. Everyone contributed some, but the primary writers were myself, the father, and John Michael Vestal, Kelsey’s boyfriend.

Thom Vines grew up in Iowa, graduating from Central College, where he met his wife, Becky. They have three children, one of which lives on in heaven. Mr. Vines is a former history teacher and retired as the Deputy Superintendent of Lubbock-Cooper schools in Lubbock, Texas. He did not come to faith until 2006 at age 52, so he channels many of his books towards those spiritually searching, for he was once there. “The Spear of the Centurion”  is the sixth book by Thom Vines, five of which are novels. The first was a nonfiction work, entitled “Tragedy and Trust” about the spiritual journey after losing a child. It won four awards, including second at the 2012 Beach Book festival in New York City. The second book was a Christian novel entitled “Hope’s Ante”, which won six awards, including a second at the Southern California Book Festival. A World War II spy novel, “Twisted Crosses” followed, which led to two Christian novels released in 2014 and 2015, respectively: “Petroglyphs”, a love story set in New Mexico, and “The Power and the Prayer”  about a Republican agnostic president who converts while in office. That book is meant to dovetail with the 2016 election.