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Thomas, a blacksmith in the Norwegian mountain village of Bergland, has grown tired of simply going through the motions of day-to-day life. He can’t shake the intrigue he feels about the picturesque mountain that stands at the edge of the village—normally considered a gigantic monument to the dangers and risks that lay outside what is known.

Now Thomas is facing the biggest challenge of his life—confronted with the task of sacrificing everything he holds dear to try and save what he loves most.

Courageously turning away from the fears that keep other villagers trapped in their routine, Thomas breaks tradition to discover what truths the mountain may hold for him. What he finds will cause him to question everything he has believed, and lead him to life-changing decisions that will affect every aspect of his life.

The Messenger is an engaging allegory about awakening to hope and discovering a life full of glorious significance.

Take the journey up the mountain and see what it holds for you.


“This book has a message for us: ‘Your dreams matter and you are not alone.’ It’s a beautiful reminder that, while it takes courage, the story in our hearts can and must be pursued. So if you are ready for a partner on your journey to a life of hope and passion, The Messenger is for you.”

Doug Pagitt

Author of Flipped, pastor, Goodness Conspirator, www.DougPagitt.com

“The Messenger is a simple tale that offers big hope to anyone willing to risk the climb.”

Donna VanLiere

New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Shoes and The Good Dream

“This world is starved for hope, and The Messenger is dripping with it, giving us a story we can all step into and find our place in. There is a positive energy coursing through this writing, and in a time when beauty and goodness seem difficult to find, this book helps us have eyes to see it.”

John Pavlovitz

Pastor, author, and founder of The Table Ministry

“Mark and Cecil are fresh voices who provide life answers that stand the test of time.”

Dave Ramsey

Nationally syndicated radio host and New York Times best-selling author

“The Messenger a simple, yet emotionally complex tale of compassion and virtue. Set in a remote Scandinavian village of yesteryear, The Messenger tugs at each heart string it touches, taking the reader step by step through a broken father’s ascent of a snow-capped mountain called life. With this novella, the authors create ‘instant folklore’ that begs to make its way into countless bedtime story moments.”

Jefferson Moore

Actor, writer, and director at Kelly’s Filmworks

“The Messenger offered a journey into my own heart, triggering reflection on all areas of life. Smeby and Kemp tell this story in a simple yet boldly direct way that caused me to stop and think on almost every page.”

Matthew Clark

Chief Operating Officer of Churchill Mortgage Corporation, Brentwood, TN

“The Messenger is a fable about hope and discovering a life full of meaning. You will be challenged and inspired to climb whatever mountain is in front of you.”

Jon Gordon

Author of The Carpenter and The Seed

“Well-crafted, deceptively simple, and deeply wise The Messenger will be an encouragement to anyone who reads it. In a world that is too often self-centered and short-sighted, this book tells a story that we all can learn and grow from.

The Reverend Thomas McKenzie, Obl.S.B.

Pastor, Church of the Redeemer, Nashville, TN

“I loved this touching and inspiring story.”

Nate Larkin

Founder of the Samson Society and author of Samson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood

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About Authors

Mark Smeby

Mark Smeby is a Nashville-based author, speaker, and singer/songwriter who is all about hope—creating products, resources, and live events all focused around the topic. He travels the country sharing the message of hope through his music and speaking engagements—in a variety of locations, such as churches, corporations, schools, and prisons. His one minute daily radio feature, the Live Hope Minute, is heard on radio stations around the country. He has released four CDs (available on iTunes and other digital outlets) and released numerous songs to Christian radio. He costarred in an episode of ABC’s hit series Nashville and has acted in several faith-based films, including Gracia, 1 Message, The Perfect Gift, and The Hepburn Girls.

Connect with Mark at MarkSmeby.com.

Cecil O. Kemp Jr.

Cecil O. Kemp, Jr. is a life coach, leadership mentor, a sought after speaker, and author of ten books. A successful CPA, business owner, and executive, Cecil, along with his wife Patty, founded and operate two globally-based entities: The Wisdom Company and The DiffferenceMaker Foundation. Through those entities and their personal efforts, the Kemps encourage and equip individuals to live and lead by Jesus’ servant model of living and leadership and thereby leave a positive imprint in every person they are privileged to touch. Married for over four decades, Cecil and Patty are residents of greater Nashville, TN, parents of two adult children, and four times grandparents.

To contact Cecil and learn more about him, visit his website: