|Posted on May 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM||comments (0)|
My husband Jim, my daughter Sarah and I have been in Ottawa since Friday night. We left Andrew at home to take care of the cats. We are here because Sarah got a job offer and has to start work in two weeks. This means she is scrambling to find an apartment. We found one, but now we must wait for credit checks, etc. before she is approved. So, in the meantime, we are waiting and driving around Ottawa, getting to know the area.
Yesterday was Mother's Day, so we decided to go downtown to the Tulip Festival. But before we got there we saw an IKEA. Well everyone knows if you see an IKEA you must go in, plus we don't have an IKEA in London so we spent half the day there. It was late in the afternoon when we left the store and decided to go downtown. Somehow Jim took a wrong turn and we ended up in Hull, Quebec. We didn't know it until we stopped seeing English on road signs.It was a good thing I wasn't driving because I had no idea what some of the signs were saying. The first one I saw was ligne d'arret. I knew arreter was stop, but I had no idea what ligne was. For those in the know, it means "stop online" (I had to look it up on Google). I'll never understand Quebec as long as Iive. The rest of Canada has English and French on their signs, but in Quebec it's just French. If you get lost there heaven help you! You'd think that they'd at least want to stop you from having an accident. Obviously my mandatory six years of French in public school did me no favours.
Eventually we found ourselves back in Ottawa and headed for the Tulip Festival - only to have it start pouring. Of course since it was so cold it turned to sleet. We waved at the Tulips as we headed back to our hotel. After a lovely dinner we called it a night. Only to be surprised by a 5:30 am wake up call from five handsome firemen.
At first, the alarm was very slow and then it would stop, so we didn't know if we should take it seriously or not. My husband was the first one to drag himself out of bed to find out what was going on. Sure enough, fire trucks were in the parking lot. Having been an apartment dweller for a number of years, we knew that not all alarms (95% in fact) are fire related.So, we still didn't bother to leave our room. Then the alarms started clanging louder and faster together. That got me out of bed in a hurry and as I was dressing Jim and Sarah went downstairs to see what was going on. The thing is, we were on the fourth floor and if the fire were real, there was no way I was getting downstairs due to my disability. I waited for them to come back and get me.
I was left behind to burn in our hotel room. Happy Mother's Day to me! After several attempts to keep our room door open while driving my scooter through it, I finally made it into the hallway and headed for the elevator. That's when I remembered you should never take an elevator during a fire, but what choice did I have? When I finally got downstairs I immediately smelled something burning, yet the firefighters were all standing in the lobby. Then I noticed that I was not going anywhere because someone had taken all the luggage racks and placed them in a straight line across the lobby, blocking the exit. Yes, in this hotel they want to keep you from escaping any fires!
Assuming they had put the fire out and having my way blocked I stayed put. Besides, I reasoned, if there was a fire, the safest place to be was near a fireman, right?
They told me to go outside and promptly moved the barricade.
I found Jim and Sarah shivering, along with about 200 other people dressed in their p.j's.The all clear was eventually given and we went back inside. I asked the fireman, who had a huge red axe resting on his shoulder, if there had been a fire and he said no. What I smelled coming off the elevator was burnt toast. Now, I'm not saying the fire department rushed to our aid at 5:30 am this morning because someone burnt their toast, but it sure seemed like it.
I think I'll be glad to get home.
|Posted on April 18, 2013 at 12:35 AM||comments (4)|
What type of people review books today? Do you have to have certain qualifications? Should you charge for book reviews? Do I have to be a professional writer? These are questions I get asked all the time, and so I thought it might be helpful to share with you, on how to get a review started.
There are tons of people on the web today who review books. Some of them are professional writers, others are just people who have read a good book and want to tell everyone what they thought about it. Still, there are those who love to read and love to get free books and feel it is a way to give back. Others find themselves in the unenviable position of having a friend ask them to review their "just released" book. They say yes, start reading and then find themselves in a pickle. Why? Because the book is horrible! What will they say to their friend? How can they break it to them gently without ruining their friendship? Some get so concerned about hurting an author's feelings that they give up reviewing books altogether. It doesn't have to be that hard. I have read books by all kinds of different authors, some of them I liked and some ... well ... they just weren't my cup of tea. But being afraid of hurting someone's feelings shouldn't put you off reviewing a book. You don't have to be mean about it and if the author you are reviewing is smart they will keep your thoughts in mind as they begin their next book. It is a wise author who can look at a review as they would a critique and learn from it. They may not be able to change the book just reviewed, but they can remember those suggestions and use them to improve their next book.
So, how do you start a review? I begin with the overall feeling I had when I finished the book. Did it move me to tears or laughter? Was I sighing with satisfaction? Or, was I just glad to get it over with? Very rarely do I find a book that I don't enjoy or learn something from. But sometimes I do come across books that leave me groaning aloud, longing for it to end. I will tell you what I do in that situation in a minute. For now, let's concentrate on a book you have just finished reading. How did it make you feel? Did you learn anything? What was the major theme of the book? These three questions help me write my opening lines. Below are a few examples of opening lines to books I have recently reviewed, to give you a better idea on how I begin.
"Once again Ann H. Gabhart has blown me away with another great book. She never disappoints and Scent of Lilacs will bring you to tears, make you laugh and if you grew up in a small town in the 60's like I did, bring back fond memories."
"I review for several publishing houses, but once in a while I like to read something self-published, because I always find gems. Melody's Song by author Kathleen Friesen is my latest find."
"If you are new to writing, have a million questions and don't quite know where to go to get them - have I got a book for you! Duke the Chihuahua Writes, by award-winning author Donna Fawcett (and Duke the Chihuahua of course) is a delightful book for the beginning writer."
As you can see, all three of these books made an impression on me and so I try to convey that feeling in the first opening lines. As it is in writing a story, the same is true of reviews. You need an opening line. Something that will draw the reader in enough to keep them reading until the end. You do not want to jump in and start describing the story and characters right away. That comes next. The opening lines are personal. They should reach out to your audience as if they were in the room with you and you were discussing the book over tea. They should express an eagerness to share with the world the "gem" you just found. Also, please note the titles of books should be in italics and the author's name should be in bold. In addition, try to limit your reviews to no more than 350 words. Some newspapers require less than that. So be aware of your word count.
The next paragraph or two, will involve introducing the characters without giving away the ending. In other words, a general outline of the story. The following are examples:
"After losing her husband to cancer, the author began to chronicle her thoughts and experiences of what she was going through. She begins with the statement, "By the end of this month, I expect to know my own name." This sets the tone of the book and guides the reader along with the author on her journey to self-discovery. The result is a book that will bring much comfort to anyone who has lost a spouse - widow or widower."
"Melody Jamison has recently moved to Saskatoon. While her move was necessary (she could no longer keep up the farm after her husband died), she also hoped that the nightmares of her husband's tragic death would go away in a new setting. Unfortunately for Melody, changing locations doesn't work. In addition to the nightmares that plague her, she worries over her son Will, who left home determined to prove he didn't need his parents, God or anyone for that matter. As Melody tries to lift her concerns to the Lord, she begins to doubt her faith in God and demonic attacks soon set in. But God is bigger than Satan and He uses the people in her new neighbourhood to not only strengthen her faith, but confirm to those around her that God is real and loves them."
Both of these examples are very different. One is of a non-fiction book, the other is a novel. The first book impacted me so much, I wrote three paragraphs on what I learned from the book (going over my own rule of keeping reviews to 350 words or less)! The novel on the other hand, required only one paragraph to best describe what was inside the book. Sometimes, for novels, I may take two paragraphs in order to highlight the important characters.
The next part of the review becomes personal. You are once again, back in the kitchen having tea and this time you are expressing what you loved the most about the book and how it impacted you. This is also where you gently let the author know what would have helped the book, if you were disappointed in it. What you found distracting, or to point out improper formatting, excessive typos, etc. This is not where you are mean. There is never any call to be mean. Pretend you are in a critique group and "sandwich" your review. In other words, start out positive then suggest areas that could use improvement - if it is necessary. Don't look for things to criticize, just to be critical. If you enjoyed the book then what is the point of telling the author she had a typo on page 258? It doesn't add to your review and makes you look petty. After you have made your suggestions end on a positive note.
You do not have to give glowing reviews everytime. Let's face it, some books just miss the mark. If you can't find anything good about the book, then don't write a review! Email the author personally and explain why you had a hard time with it and why you cannot post your review. If however, you are being paid to write a review then you have no choice. Please let the author down gently. You don't know how old they are - they could just be starting out. Don't discourage them, encourage them by focusing on what they did right and then suggesting what could be improved.
I finish all my reviews with a final line and a rating. For example:
With lots of romance and intrigue this is another Tracie Peterson book you will want on your shelf. I give it 5/5 stars!
I hope this helps you as you write your next review!
|Posted on April 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM||comments (8)|
I recently received an email from someone who asked me if I ever gave five star reviews. She said I was a "tough" reviewer. I responded by saying I was a professional reviewer, not just a blogger. Is there a difference? Well, I can't speak for bloggers, but I have seen some give one line reviews - "I liked this book. It was great." And then I've seen some detail every nuance of the story - "The colours in the cover are rich and vibrant. The characters are well developed. The character of Mary Ann had luscious brown hair and ..." it then goes on for about four pages describing each character and the setting, finally ending with - "It was a good book."
Book reviews should by definition, give a proper review of the book. They should be more than one line, personable, clear and to the point. If you are an author looking for a review and you submit a book to me, here is what I look for:
Opening Line and Paragraph
Description & Dialogue
Grammar & Typo's
While I may not mention these things in my reviews, they all play a part in what rating I will give a book. How I finally go about putting the review together is something I'll touch on next time.
|Posted on April 9, 2013 at 9:45 AM||comments (0)|
Today, I'm feeling guilty. I was supposed to take my cat Cagney, into the vet today for a urine sample. She had a stone in her bladder and a bad infection about a month ago and the vet wanted to check and make sure she was okay. She's been okay for weeks. I know when she's not feeling well or in discomfort. She lets me know - either by pooping on my bed or peeing on it. Yeah - cats are great...
Anyway, last night I was supposed to take away her food before I went to bed. I forgot. Then I was supposed to make sure she didn't pee this morning before we left...that's impossible! Have you ever tried to get a cat NOT to pee? So, I ended up calling the vet and informing them that Cagney had peed already and could we reschedule? They said, "Can you bring her in anyway, and we'll keep her here until she pees?" Here is where the guilt comes into play. I said, "I'd rather she didn't spend the day there because she gets stressed out." When actually I meant - "I really don't want to drive to your office twice today for a urine test that I know will be okay. And I don't want to pay the boarding fee you will charge me for keeping her there."
They started to pressure me some more. "We really should get her urine to make sure everything is okay.Could you come in tomorrow at 9:45?" Seriously? If I can't stop her from peeing at 7:00 in the morning, what makes them think I'll be able to hold her off until 9:45? I desperately wanted to get out of this appointment, because I really feel it's throwing money away. My cat has shown no signs of distress of any kind for weeks now. So, I did something horrible. I played the "leg" card.
"It's very difficult for me to go up and down the stairs to stop her from peeing. Her box is in the basement. I can't walk very well, you know. It would be better if I could just take her first thing in the morning, as early as possible. She sleeps with me, you see, so I could just grab her off the bed and leave." I said that because I knew they weren't open early. What I didn't expect was, "Can you bring her in Saturday morning at 8:00 am?"
That'll teach me. Now I have to get up super early on a Saturday (my day to sleep in) to take my cat for a urine test she doesn't need. With my luck - she'll pee before eight and I'll have to leave her there anyway.
I can't believe I played the "leg card". Using my disability to get out something. I've never done that before (intentionally). There have been many times when I have had to turn down opportunities because I was in too much pain, but this wasn't one of those times. Hence the guilt. What I did was wrong and God let me know it. He took my "leg card" and played a "guilt card". I'm sorry Lord. Forgive me. I have learned my lesson to never use my disability to get out of my obligations again.
Have you ever done that? Tried to get out of something because you didn't want to be bothered? In my case I didn't want the bother of driving to the vet twice and I didn't want to pay the extra for the boarding fee. I should have just said that, rather than make an excuse not to go. Now...I have no choice. I am committed to go on Saturday. Sometimes, we are better off leaving things as they were.
Sometimes, a little guilt can teach us a valuable lesson.
|Posted on April 6, 2013 at 1:20 PM||comments (0)|
Today is a good day. I was able to make my own breakfast standing up almost for the whole thing. It was amazing! My pain level is around three out of ten today. On normal days it is about an eight and on really bad days a ten. Today, someone is obviously praying for me. I can't think why else I've had this sudden reprieve. So thank you...you know who you are!
Prayer, if you haven't discovered it, can move mountains. When God answers our prayers we stand in awe and shout to the world - "Look what God did!" Giving Him all the glory. It's only right that we should do that. After all, He is God. But sometimes, God doesn't answer prayer and we wait ... and we wait some more ... and during the whole time we are waiting for an answer, two things are going on. God is working behind the scenes and Satan is working overtime putting doubt and anger into our hearts and minds because we aren't getting our prayers answered.
This is when maturity in your faith comes into play. First you have to realize that God is going to answer your prayers, however it might not be how you want them answered. God sees the big picture, you don't. Trust Him to do what is right. You can either accept that God heard you and leave it at that, or you can listen to the voices in your head that are making you doubt in God's love.
When I was in the hospital last year, battling a dangerous infection and a superbug, I had one particular night that was horrible. I would say the pain was the worst I have ever experienced (that includes childbirth). My prayers were frantic pleas to God to make it stop, to send a nurse to give me something, to take me now...I was beside myself with pain and my thoughts were all over the place.
It was at my moment of deepest despair, of feeling alone in my pain, of being unable to bear it a moment longer, that I heard this in my mind, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Jesus' cry from the cross. And I finally got why he screamed that. It wasn't that he felt God had left Him, or was ignoring Him. It was a cry of despair. A cry of frustration. A cry that hid beneath it all the thoughts that were coming to the surface, bubbling over, with no way to control them. A cry of agony over the pain that was crushing him and threatened to swallow him up.
"I'm so afraid, Lord. I feel alone in this, like no one understands."
"I cannot bear this anymore. When will it stop?"
"Are you there? Do you hear me? Please, let me feel your prescence so that I know everything will be alright."
"How much longer Lord? I cannot bear it."
Of course my pain was nowhere near what Jesus experienced. But the thing was...He experienced it. He understood my heartfelt cries completely and it was at that moment that I knew I wasn't alone and that if my pain continued, I wouldn't like it, but I would be okay with it, because there was a purpose in it. Jesus' pain and His death had a purpose. A glorious purpose that freed us all from sin and the pain of death. Not physical death, but spiritual death, because to be separated from the Father forever would be agony.
I may never know this side of heaven if what I am going through today has any purpose. Right now, I can only see that I write more and blog more. I have enormous amounts of time on my hands actually. I would use it differently if I were able. I would be volunteering somewhere, or visiting with my friends. Maybe even clean my house (my least favourite thing to do, but now I would give anything to be able to do it). But, for now I am to endure daily pain (accept for days like today) and be unable to walk much and God has His reasons. And I'm okay with that.
All that to say this...if you are suffering right now and in pain, either physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually you are not alone. God has never left you and He never will. He understands more than you could possibly imagine and He has a plan. Rest in that assurance until He comes again, or takes you home. He loves you, He cares about you and He has not forsaken you. Your life is not without purpose and God will use it for His glory no matter what your circumstances.
Trust Him today with what you are going through. He's got you in the palm of His hand.
|Posted on April 3, 2013 at 1:25 AM||comments (0)|
When Come to Me first came out I was a bit overwhelmed with how many books were sent to me by the publisher. I looked at those boxes and thought, "Where am I going to put these things?" My second thought was, "Not again, please Lord don't let it happen again."
You see back in the '80's when I had my singing ministry, I recorded an album. During those days cd's were just starting to make an appearance, but everyone still relied on cassette tapes. I sang quite a bit back then and was out of town almost every weekend singing somewhere. So, since it was cheaper to buy cassettes and more expensive to make cd's, I bought cassettes. That was my first mistake. The second was that I bought 500 of them!
I sold quite a few right off the bat and so it never dawned on me that one day I would have a big box of cassettes sitting in my basement collecting dust. But as I was about to start a summer tour, my throat started hurting and singing was painful. I saw an ENT (ears, nose, throat specialist) who had bad news for me. I had nodes on my vocal chords. I had two choices. I could have surgery to remove them, or I could stop singing for at least a year. The surgery terrified me because one wrong nick and my voice could be gone forever. So, I chose not to sing. I had 250 cassettes left and had to cancel a lot of concerts. I thought, "No problem. I'll sell them next year." But the next year I wasn't any better and now I was told not to sing, or even hum for another year! No humming? My throat was in bad shape and as life would have it, once I got the all clear from my doctor, cassettes were obsolete and no one wanted to buy them. I felt like such a failure.
Fast forward to when Come to Me came out and I'm looking at all these boxes in my dining room and all I could think of was, "What if I don't sell any? What if I fail again?" Determined not to fail, I took a page out of my singing career and pounded the pavement. I tried every marketing technique that I could think of - booksignings, TV, radio, speaking engagements, etc. and I sold quite a few books and then the unthinkable happened. I was struck down once again. This time I started having trouble walking and for those who have read previous posts, you know I had surgery on both my legs, but my lymphatic system began to shut down and one thing lead to another until now, most days I spend with my legs elevated, while taking medications (that make me sleepy) to control pain.
So, now I have all these books in my dining room and they are a constant reminder of my cassettes. I can't get out to sell them and I can't throw them out. At least I could use the cassettes as coasters, but books? So, I need your help. I'm not ashamed to ask - if you intend to buy any of my books, please buy them off my website. Don't buy them off Amazon. They have a warehouse to hold all their books, I only have my dining room and I would love to get it back.
|Posted on March 27, 2013 at 9:55 PM||comments (0)|
Sometimes we all need a little support. Especially when we are going through something that is life-threatening like cancer.
Shortly before Christmas of last year, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her biopsy, she discovered that her type of cancer was invasive and fast-growing. This is the type of news that would strike fear into anyone's heart. I can't speak for my sister, but her actions after receiving the news made me believe she was not afraid of dying. She had one fear though...losing her hair. Quite honestly, between chemo and losing my hair, I wouldn't be afraid of dying either! In fact, I actually fear being diagnosed with cancer because of that one reason - losing my hair. If I ever lost my hair, I'd look like a bald buddha!
But not my sister. As you can see from the picture above, she is still quite beautiful. That's her son Matthew. He went with her and got his head shaved in a loving show of support. And that's what we need the most when we are going through tragic things - support.
When Debby was diagnosed with cancer I was very concerned she wouldn't have any people around to support her. I live an hour away from her and would be more of a hindrance than a help because I can barely walk. Debby's daughter lives even farther away than I do. Her husband is a truck driver and on the road a lot. My parents, who live in the same town as Debby, were unfortunately dealing with the same thing. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after my sister. So, now I worried about the support they both would need as well.
I shouldn't have been concerned of course. Whenever I have something that overwhelms me my first reaction is to ask for prayer. Fortunately, this world is a whole lot smaller because of the internet. Last time I checked, people were praying for my sister and my mom, across Canada, the U.S. and as far away as Australia.
That's how I'm supporting my family. It's the only way I can right now - through prayer and phonecalls. What about you? If you are going through something like this, do you have the support you need? Do you have family and friends rallying around you? Do you have someone to pray for you? If not, drop me a line. I would love to support you with prayer.
|Posted on March 13, 2013 at 4:05 PM||comments (0)|
I apologize for my silence. I have been rather busy with my two other sites and my home page has become somewhat neglected. To be honest, I never know what to write here. With Interviews & Reviews I write book reviews or interview authors. With Learning From the Master, I write Bible Studies. Since the topic of writing is something I cover on Canadian Writers Who Are Christian I didn't want to repeat myself here.
But I have begun to realize lately that there is one area that I don't really talk about because I don't believe anyone would be interested, and that is ... well ... me. I have all these "things" that keep happening to me. Most of them involve pain and really, who wants to hear about stuff like that? But, certain people have been reminding me lately that perhaps by sharing what I am going through, it might help someone else who is also dealing with physcial pain in their lives...or emotional or spiritual pain. So, I think I might talk about that from now on. I hope it won't depress you. I hope it will make you laugh, but most of all I hope it will encourage you, wherever you are in your stage of life.
For starters, I'll tell you a funny little story that happened to me at the doctor. He was giving me bad news (which of course isn't funny, but I tend to see things through a really weird lens). He told me that I would die if I had more surgery on my legs. Of course that was before he even looked at my legs. Once he looked at them he said, "Your legs are weird. Operating on them would be tricky." Well, I always knew I had weird legs, but did he have to be so blunt about it? Anyway, as he continued to talk, he reminded me about five times that I would die if anyone operated on me. I told him I had surgery on both legs a year ago and I survived just fine. He pointed out that this time would be different because he would have to add plastic and metal into the mix (for a new knee) and because of my susceptability to infections, I would likely die. He then said something else which I can't remember, but he stopped mid-sentence and said, "Oh, that's really good what I just said! I'm going to write that down!" and he made a note of his "profound" thought.
Then he finishes writing, looks up at me as if he suddenly remembered I was in the room, throws up his hands and says, "So, yeah...that's about it. Sorry."
That's it? When I injured myself some 14 years ago, I was told by this same doctor, that I was too young for new knees, but if I didn't get them I would end up in a wheelchair before I was sixty. Then, when they started getting worse and I was reduced to using a walker, he told me I was still too young, but if I were an athlete I could have had new knees from the get go. I was also warned that I should lose some weight as it might help speed up the process for new knees.
Great! I'll go jog around the block - with my walker!
The final statement from this doctor was that it was a shame I didn't get my new knees sooner, because now I am definitely headed for a wheelchair. So, technically the only reason I'm going into a wheelchair now is because I wasn't an athlete 14 years ago!
Doctors! You gotta love 'em!
|Posted on March 2, 2013 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
I have been very busy this week creating new websites and I want to let you know about them.
Interviews & Reviews, which has been around since 2008, needed a new look and an upgrade. Geared for connecting readers to authors, the new site (hosted by Webs.com, the same host that hosts this website) includes a members area where authors can promote themselves for free and readers (if the author permits) can connect with their favourite authors. In addition to the regular book reviews, there are other marketing opportunities for authors, such as advertising space, Featured Book of the Week (which includes your book synopsis, author bio and first chapter of your latest book), weekly giveaways for our readers and more frequent author interviews. To check out Interviews & Reviews visit www.interviewsandreviews.com.
Learning From the Master, is a Bible Study site for those who are interested in digging deeper into the Word of God. Each lesson that is posted, also comes with further questions in the forums area for discussion. This site is also hosted by Webs.com and you are able to follow and receive emails in regards to updates, etc. exactly like you currently do here. Currently, we are studying 1 Timothy. You can catch up on past lessons in the Forums area and if you have prayer requests you can make them known there as well. You can find Learning From the Master at www.learningfromthemaster.com
I hope you stop by!
|Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
My church has recently begun a series on the Gospel of John. We learned last week that John's Gospel is all about proving who Jesus is and so John starts his book with:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:1-5
In Hebrew The Word is translated as The Dvar Hashem which means "The Word of God." So The Word of God was with God and the Word of God was God. He was with God in the beginning. But how is it that The Word of God, The DvarHashem is a He? How can all things be made through the Word? How can this Word be life and the light of all mankind? This is possible because The Word as some know it, is not the written word. It is not Scripture, but The Word is Jesus Christ!
John 1:14 confirms this - "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
The Dvar Hashem, The Word of God, is Yeshua - Jesus! And the Dvar Hashem became flesh and made his sukkah, His Mishkan (Tabernacle) among us. Think about that for a moment. The body Jesus took on, had to be pure enough that his Divine Glory or presence (shekinah) would be able to dwell in it. That is why Jesus was born of a virgin. If Mary and Joseph had conceived Jesus in the normal way He would have been born into a sinful body. But this couldn't happen because the Tabernacle or body Jesus took on, had to be free of sin or he could not dwell there.
Now let's take that a little further. God went to all that trouble - to find a way here to walk among us, to house His glory - only to take the sins of the world upon Himself at the end of His life! He who was without sin, became sin for us! Why? 1 Corinthians 5:21 makes it clear, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
God made Jesus who had no sin, to be a sin offering (chattat) on our behalf, so that we might become the Righteousness of God in Messiah. Imagine that! Before, there was no possible way for us to enter heaven, because nothing sinful or unclean can enter such a Holy place and God knew that. So, he made a way for us through Jesus.
Think about that for a while. If it doesn't blow your mind - I don't know what will.