I received the jpg of my back cover earlier this week which I've been trying to put up here, but for some reason the colors are all off. I wonder if it has something to do with the file it is. Anyway, believe me when I tell you, it is GORGEOUS!!!
So much is in the works now it can set my head to spinning if I let it. I have a friend working on promo bookmarks that are the prettiest I've ever seen while I'm working on getting a date set for a "release" party (Basically just friends, fellowship, and fun, oh, and a really cool door prize!) the Saturday after my book is released followed by a book signing at a local Barnes and Noble (LOVE that store!) the week after. My radio interview which I mentioned in my last post has been moved to Jan 8th which is perfect timing. And then in March I'll have a few signings and the Young Authors event at my old elementary school! I'm busting at the seams for that event!!! In the meantime, I've picked up a few duties at school which I'm happy to do because I love that place so much! And I also must work diligently on The Heart's Lullaby, tentatively scheduled for release in spring of 2011. It'll be here before I even know it . . . which is a very scary thought. Time really, truly does fly, doesn't it??? One of the moments that has stuck with me in The Heart's Journey Home is a scene where Kate is talking to her Grandpa Clayton about how forever seems like so long to wait before she can see her deceased husband again to which he replies in his wise way, "Take it from this old man, it's not."
It's really not, is it??? That's why it's so important to STRENGTHEN our relationship with the Lord. I'm certainly not preaching here. I need it probably more than many of you, and I don't know all the ways that it can be done, but a few ways that work the best for me is by fellowshiping with other believers and by praying and listening. Listening is the hardest one for me because some times, well, I just get so busy that I can't even hear myself think let alone listen to my God. Do any of you ever feel like that? A fellow teacher sent me an email story regarding this very thing. Maybe you've seen it. If not, this is how it goes:
A young man had been to Wednesday Night Bible Study where the Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice
The young man couldn't help but wonder, “Does God still speak to people?”
After service, he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways.
It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, “God...If you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey.”
As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, “God is that you?” He didn't get a reply and started on toward home. But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk.
The young man thought about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli . “Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk.” It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward home.
As he passed Seventh Street , he again felt the urge, “Turn down that street.”
This is crazy he thought, and drove on past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street so at the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will.”
He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semi-commercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either. The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people were already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, “Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.” The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat.
“Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going
to be mad and I will look stupid.” Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk so finally, he opened the door, “Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for some thing, but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here.”
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, “Who is it? What do you want?” Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep. “What is it?”
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this to you.”
The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, “We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me how to get some milk.”
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, “I ask him to send an angel with some. Are you an angel ?”
The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face.
He knew that God still answers prayers.
Yes, He does and He still speaks to us if we will just listen.
PRAYER REQUESTS AND UPDATES: Please pray mightily this week for Chris Dekker.
Chris is a very sick young man. He has been diagnosed with H1N1, pneumonia, AND is now also suffering from Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. When I received this info on him, he was on a ventilator, fighting for his life every minute. Right now he has been medically paralyzed in hopes that will help his recovery. His doctors agree he is probably the sickest person in their entire hospital. Please pray for his complete recovery. Pray for wisdom for his doctors. Pray for peace for Chris's parents. Pray for strength for Chris. Pray that the Great Physician will heal Chris completely and that through this terrible experience Chris is strengthened physically and spiritually. I'm believing that the Lord has big, big plans for Chris, that Chris will not only heal from this sickness, but become a mighty soldier for Christ!
Other updates will come soon. In the meantime, please keep praying for those on our list. My prayer for you this week and especially during the hustle and bustle of this holiday season is that you take the time to LISTEN to the Lord.
Blessings to you and yours,