Blessings and Blogs

Thank You, Readers!

Wow!  It’s been nearly nine months since the release of The Crimson Purpose.  And, it’s been crazy busy!  To date, I’m well ahead of projections in terms of sales, but I have a long way to go before I can offer the second installment of the series, entitled, The Calling of Casey Evand

 

Sometimes, I find myself wondering whether it’ll really happen; whether my book will hit the sales numbers it needs to hit.  But, when I find myself at the edge of discouragement, another reader will send me a private message.  A few of you have even sent mail to me at the college where my husband serves on staff.  I can’t tell you how much your exhortations have meant to me!

 

One of my readers–a woman whom I have only met once, as she was purchasing a few copies of my book–wrote to me, and told me that she is an avid reader, and she has found my book to be among the top she’s ever read.  At the time of her letter, she had already given away nine copies of the book, including one copy which is circulating among her church’s congregation.  She expressed eagerness to read the next book, and encouraged me to stick with it.  Her words were humbling, and gratifying, and my heart is blessed at the opportunity to give God the glory for the impact the book has made in her life.

 

Another woman contacted me after reading the book, telling me how much it has meant to her to have some struggles she’d gone through in her own life articulated–given voice.  She went on to tell me that she has even given a copy of the book to her counselor, so that things she could never before fully explain might be better understood.  Again, so humbling, and so wonderful!

 

Finally, another lady–a woman I met through a mutual friend–decided to read my book while waiting at the airport for her departure.  So involved was she in the storyline, that she missed her flight!  I laughed when she told me, and, although I was sorry that she had to sit several more hours in the airport, I was thrilled that my book held her attention.

 

These are but a handful of the correspondences I have received.  In future updates, I may refer to more of them.  It’s important to me that you, my readers, know how much your support has meant–and continues to mean–to me.  I pray for my audience daily, and I pray that my book will continue to impact lives in a positive way.  God has been so good to me, and He has used many of you to bless me beyond imagination!  Thank you!

Thanks Again!

Wow, what a great visit to Missouri!  We had such a wonderful time with family and friends, and two bookstores held book signing events for me!  So much fun! 

Thanks to all of you who took time out of your busy Saturday and came to a signing!  As a new author, I was somewhat nervous in the days leading up to them, but so many of you came, that I was greatly encouraged!  You were such a blessing to me!

Many of you have been asking when the second book of the series will be out.  I wish I had a date to pass along, but, as a first time author, I have to “prove” myself with this first effort, before the second book can proceed to publication.  So, if you enjoyed the story, please help me to spread the word!

Blessings!

Touch Down!

I recently took advantage of a most incredible opportunity to sit under the teaching of Dr. Jerry Vines.  Many know him as the pastor of football player Tim Tebow, during the days when Tebow was a Florida Gator.  Dr. Vines has been a preacher of God’s Word for fifty years, and he visited the campus of Boston Baptist College to address the topic of “teaching the Bible.” 

 

In a room filled to capacity, Dr. Vines made his suggestions and insights accessible to all vocations: pastors, teachers, lay ministers…  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and am thrilled for the student body, as well.  What a privilege to listen to a man who has invested his life in service to God, and who still glorifies the God of his salvation as fervently as he did in the first years of his salvation.

 

The notion actually gave me pause: as fervently as he did in the first years of his salvation. 

 

Often, I find myself slacking in my dedication to the Truths I claim.  Sometimes, I am like the Israelites of the Exodus, finding myself yearning for the days of captivity.  Sadly, there are days when I am there, back in Egypt, as if I’d never been rescued at all.

 

My point is a simple one, today.  God is God, and He deserves more than an occasional nod of recognition.  Dr. Vines, with his simple approach to espousing on the Scriptures, has taught me even more with his life.  I want to finish as I began this walk with my Savior.  I want it to be evident to everyone around me that I love the triune God now every bit as much as I did when I first discovered Him; more.

Untitled (part three)

(continued from previous posts)

 

She looked at each of us in turn, before speaking again.  “It has been my desire to come to you for a long while,” she said softly.  “But, it was not yet the time.  You were not ready.”

 

We looked at one another, frowning.  Finally, I posed our query.  “We are the same as we’ve always been.”

 

“Indeed,” she answered, smiling.  “But you are no longer the same as you will always be.”  She gave an understanding nod and explained, “You now understand your need of me, and of the sustinence which comes through my efforts.  You now accept that what I offer is not one of many options available to you; but rather, the only option.”

 

She met each pair of searching eyes and continued, “Some of you have tried to fill yourselves from the tables of others, but you were left unsatisfied.”  Many looked away, ashamed and yet uncertain as to why they might be so, and she sighed.  “The knowledge of your own helplessness is unnerving, I realize.  But it should also serve as a source of great relief.”

 

“Why?” I asked, completely enthralled.

 

“Just as you are helpless to this drawing you feel–to myself and my deliverance–so too are you empowered by it.  If you accept what I offer without compromise, then I promise to supply you with continued measure regardless of your failings; regardless of your doubts; regardless of your finiteness.”

 

I shook my head in mild wonder.  “Again I must ask why.  Why would you, who seems to lack nothing, be concerned for us?”

 

She gazed upon me with an intensity that left me feeling pleasantly exposed.  All the shame and shadows within me were there for her to see, and she still obviously held regard for my very soul.  I was humbled and transcended, and I sensed her answer before it was spoken.

 

“I have always been,” she replied.  “And yet, this is why I am.”

 

“I don’t understand.”

 

“Of course you don’t.  But in time, you will.  And when that moment comes, more questions will flood you, and your thirst for answers will mingle with the certainty that the answers are there.”  She looked at each of us again, as if seeing everything we had ever been and ever may be.  “And, when my father is ready, I will bring you into his presence.”

 

“Your father?  He knows you’re here?”

 

She laughed a delightful, easy laugh, and nodded.  “It was my father who sent me to you.”

 

Another of our group spoke.  “Isn’t he worried that you could suffer injury by leaving your fortress?”

 

Her eyes dimmed, but only for a moment.  “He knows the cost, as do I.  And your rescue demands not only the risk of presumed failure, but the acceptance of it.”

 

“You mean…you’re accepting failure, by coming here?”

 

She shook her head and stood.  “I didn’t say I was accepting failure.  I said I was accepting presumed failure.”

 

I looked to the rest of our group before standing as well.  “We don’t understand.”

 

“You will.”  She looked toward the fortress, as if imparting a silent goodbye, and turned back to them, again.  “Please show me where I may lay my head.”

 

The collective gasp was audible, and the shuffling of fidgeting bodies obvious.  “We don’t really have accomodations befitting a person of royalty.”

 

“I did not come to be waited upon,” she admonished.  “I came to live among you, and to serve you.”  She swept the lot of us, and her eyes fastened upon mine.  “I shall sleep in the refuse heap which you call home,” she declared.  Upon my expression of fear and intense humiliation, she laughed again; sweetly.  “I already know all about you.  There is nothing about yourself which can be hidden from me.”

 

I wanted to argue; to tell her that there were places much less reviling than my residence.  I wanted to point out that it was dank and chilly at night, and hot and putrid during the day.  I wanted to find somewhere–anywhere–more befitting someone of her standing; even if only slightly more befitting.  And yet, as these arguments played through my mind, I sensed that my words were unnecessary.  I sensed that she already had knowledge of all of these facts and more.  I sensed that my world–my pathetic existence which had already changed so much since first seeing her–was about to be transformed even more.  It was as if I could sense…salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Untitled (part two)

(continued from previous post!!)

 

The days and weeks and months became quite monotonous to anyone observing from the outside.  Suffice it to say, I had developed quite an addiction.  I craved the food the woman on the wall left for me, just as I craved the chance to see my benefactor.  Between those moments, I passed much of the time in speculation.  I simply could not fathom the dedication of one within the kingdom’s walls caring about anything or anyone on the outside.  It was humbling—which was quite something given my already lowered status.  And it was moving.  I was, perhaps for the first time in my entire life, engaged with something beyond what I had always assumed to be the limits of my reality.  To be honest, I felt overwhelmed.

 

Then, one day, my friend—for that was what she had become, though we had never met—was standing at the top of the wall.  There was the basket, presumably laden with exquisite goodies, but she wasn’t dropping the food as she had consistently done before.  Her face was still glowing and peace-infused, but there was a decidedly chiseled sense of purpose which accompanied her demeanor.  I was enthralled, for it seemed to me that the added level of intensity made her even more lovely to look upon.  I couldn’t help but wonder whether such a burden for a cause shouldn’t have had just the opposite effect.  But here she was, standing at the top of the wall and looking down toward myself and my miserable world, burdened.  She nodded, as if to herself, and turned.  That’s when I noticed the rope which encircled her waist and anchored her to some unseen thing beyond my vision.  She turned, her back toward me for what I’m certain was the first time for as long as I had been aware of her existence, and she descended the outside of the wall.

 

I was aghast.  This was no place for a person of position, let alone a young woman with such a delicate face.  I was worried for her, and I was concerned that some of the others of my world might see her.  There were some who might seek to take out their frustrations on her; who might find in her a source of blame for having brought upon them a realization of all they lacked.  There were some who were simply enslaved to the ways of the garbage and dung heaps, and wanted no suggestions that there might be more to existing.

 

For the first time in ages, I spoke in a manner beyond what was necessary for my own survival.  “No!” I hissed, not wanting to yell too loudly, but needing her to hear and climb the wall again before it was too late.  She seemed not to hear me at all, and it occurred to me that I would have to approach her.  The idea of having her within range of my rank odor was troubling, to be certain, but since such self-consciousness was relatively new to me, I tabled the emotion as best I could.  As I moved nearer to her, I saw other shadows which also seemed to be moving nearer.  I hastened in my pace, and reached her.  She smiled at me, the genuineness of which was not unexpected, yet intensely shocking in its transparency.  I swallowed, reminding myself of my purpose.  “You need to go,” I said, casting paranoid glances behind me.  “Now.”

 

“No.”

 

I threw off all concern of being heard, for it was apparent that her cover was long blown.  I looked up toward the top of the wall.  “Someone!  Anyone!  You need to get her out of here!”  There was no answer.  No indication that there was anyone up there to provide a response.  I nearly panicked, turning to place myself between my peer and the people of my world.  Suddenly, there they were, all around us.

 

I took a steadying breath and wondered whether this would be my day to die.  Strange how, only a few months previous, such a possibility would never have occurred to me.  And if it had occurred to me, I’m all but certain that it wouldn’t have produced the fear which was coursing through my veins.  But, in only the next breath, I realized that the bulk of the mob intended no ill toward the visitor.  Rather, they seemed to me as I was.  Self-appointed friends.  Souls who, like me, had tried to clean themselves up on their own, but had been unable to accomplish it to satisfaction.  Souls who had been so drawn by her generosity and countenance that they wanted to know the source of such goodness.  For they, too, had seen the difference between her and us, and, as I did, they craved it.

 

Those who might have bode ill were surprisingly outnumbered, but I suspected that when they returned they would be better equipped.  I turned back to our guest.  “Why are you here?”

 

She smiled and her eyes held a depth I’d never witnessed in close proximity.  One of my kind pressed, “Tell us.”

 

She nodded and held up the basket which she had brought with her.  How she had managed to descend the wall with such a heavy load I still couldn’t say, but she had done so, and we all ate our fill.  After some time, we were all sitting on the ground, the other peasants clustered together, leaving some distance between us and the visitor.  It wasn’t an effort at rudeness.  It was most merciful, for the sum of us posed a most noxious stench.

Untitled (part one)

 

(I decided to post a short story series for the next few weeks–just for fun!  It’s rough and will probably change a lot.  Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it!)

 

So many years ago—it seems more distant to me on some days than others—I lived the life of a peasant.  I was clothed in filthy rags, covered head to toe in stench and ash.  The very hairs on my head were heavy with carelessness.  But strangely, I didn’t notice.  Sure, I lacked security.  Of course I was without comfort; without love; without hope.  But when that’s all you’ve ever known, it’s not necessarily that obvious.  It’s not necessarily disconcerting.  There’s an assumption that, since the majority of the people around you are in the same condition, then it must be accepted; embraced, even.  It’s just the way it is.

 

Then one day, I had ventured close to the castle walls.  I had to, for it was the only way to find food which wasn’t mold-infested or rotting past the point of consumption.  And, not only was the thrown-away food along the perimeter of the wall more palatable; it was more digestible.

 

It seemed to me that it was a very strange thing indeed to, upon finding a decent food supply, discover almost instantly that it was a food supply which caused you to crave more.  And the yearning became almost medicinal—although at the time it felt much more like a curse.  For with the desire came a realization.  And no amount of backpedaling—no amount of diving beneath the trash heaps further from the castle wall—no amount of gorging oneself on the disgusting food source available there—would change the realization; the realization that the food on the other side of the castle wall was undoubtedly even better; even more filling.  And not only that, but there came, gradually but surely, an awareness of my lack of hygiene; an understanding that I was disgusting.  I hated that knowledge, for it caused me to rush in almost maniacal haste to the nearest pool of water, so that I might bathe and scour the layers of crusty dead skin and microscopic animals which inhabited every crevice; every pore of my being.

 

Soon it became apparent to me that, although I could, with much effort, achieve the desired appearance of cleanliness, I nonetheless lacked the appropriate covering; modest raiment which would cover all my insecurities and imperfections.  Moreover, though I had a much less offensive portrayal than before, my skin still contained the foul smell of rot; the horrid reek which had been all I had ever known but which suddenly seemed abhorrent to me.  I couldn’t explain it, for it seemed that the very source of such knowledge came from without, and yet there was no denying its occupation of my very being.

 

Something was calling on me to change—to leave behind the life that was now more wanting than ever.  And yet, what was I to do?  I had no further means by which to improve my lowly state; no discernible hope of reprieve; no way of escape.  I was miserable.

 

Torn between that yearning for something I’d never known, and a frustration that I hadn’t been allowed to simply live out my pathetic life in comparatively blissful ignorance, I continued living in the depths of an impoverished reality, all the while consumed with an ever mounting hope.  Hope was the only word I could think of to describe it, although in the moment it seemed more like an absence of any hope at all; strange.

 

On I went, day after day, until I caught a glimpse of someone at the top of the wall.  It was strange to me, for I noticed that this person was not a guard—for to be honest, no guards were needed.  The kingdom was impenetrable.  No, this person—a young woman of about my own years—was dropping something from the top of the wall to the places at the foot of the same; to the places where I had foraged for that better food so often since that first sampling.

 

I waited, cowered behind a pile of refuse, watching her.  Her skin and hair were clean and fairly glowed, and I knew instinctively that her fragrance was comparable to her appearance.  But it was more than that.  There was something almost indefinable about her countenance.  It was as if she possessed all the inexpressible things I craved.  I wasn’t jealous of her, oddly enough.  But rather, I was enamored by whatever invisible thing it was which she possessed, and which I so obviously lacked.  Eventually, she had emptied her basket, and after taking a meditative look about—seeming for the span of a heartbeat to be looking directly into my shadowed eyes—she left her perch and was out of sight. 

 

I waited.  When I was fairly confident of my anonymity, I approached the wall.  I use this word, approached, very loosely, for my methods were far from bold.  I found one self-concealing heap after another, ever inching my way toward my destination.  When finally I arrived at the wall’s edge, I discovered something perplexing.  It seemed that the mysterious dumping by the young woman was that same food I had so been helplessly craving and therfore loathing.  But why?  Why would someone who seemed to contain no use for the excesses in life—for her royal robes were nothing akin to boasting or pompous, as one might have expected—be so apparently willing to throw out such delectable cuisine?

 

I shrugged, for who was I to question this woman’s motives?  For was I not the benefactor of such sacrificial giving?  Such generosity?  I ate all I could manage, and although I craved more, I somehow managed to stop myself from overdoing it.  After all, too much of a good thing couldn’t possibly be a good thing, right?  So, I put what remained in my pockets for later, and I left the scene as carefully as I had encroached.

 

Much later, with the only accompanying sound the scuffling of the pilfering rats, I lay there, wondering what the other young woman might be doing at that very moment; at that instant.  Was she sleeping, as I should have been?  Or was she busily gathering more of the food I would feast on when my current supply was gone?

 

I’m not certain that rest ever did come that night, at least not rest of the caliber a body and mind requires to function properly on the following dawn.  But I managed, and as days unfolded into weeks, and weeks into months, I eventually became used to the presence of the woman on the wall—always appearing when my supply had run out, and my hunger was gnawing.  And eventually, it occurred to me that I could no longer imagine myself choking down the bits of garbage I had once been so used to.  I needed the sustenance she provided.  My life, by this time, depended upon it.

The reason we celebrate…

Rather than post my ponderings, I thought it most befitting to share Scripture at this incredible time of year–the time specifically designated to celebrate the birth of the Savior.  I wish you all a blessed Christmas!

 

Luke 2:8-20

(NIV)

 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Grateful

With Thanksgiving behind us, and Christmas just around the corner, it’s normally the time when I become somewhat distracted; overwhelmed with all the shopping and baking and shopping and cleaning and shopping and decorating and more shopping….  But this year, God has done something wonderful for us.  He has removed our opportunity for added busyness.

We’ve had tight Christmasses before–who hasn’t?  But this year, it seems that things are beyond tight; beyond a mere stretch of imaginative budgeting.  This year, there is simply no extra cash.  And guess what?  I feel closer to my Lord than ever.  I feel less anxiety about purchasing the “perfect” gift than I ever did in the past.  And as a result, I’m finding that, at the most opportune moments, I’m supplied with ways to get gifts for the kids and loved ones.  The money still isn’t there, and yet it is. 

I’m reminded of the feeding of the masses with five loaves and two fishes.  You know the account.  Jesus blesses the boy’s meager offering, and feeds thousands.  And guess what?  There are leftovers! 

No, we won’t have those extra little gadgets and toys which will be broken or misplaced by springtime.  No, we won’t have the latest technological advancements under the tree.  But, thank God, we have been reminded what this holiday is really about.  God, in his mercy, has called us to attentiveness once again.

And because of that, I think this is shaping up to be my family’s best Christmas ever!!

The Function of Fiction

I was looking through an older issue of the Baptist Bible Tribune last week—I do this from time to time, as the magazine is chock full of often timeless and relevant accounts and updates regarding churches, mission fields, and other endeavors. But as I perused its pages, a rather redundant thought was again brought to the forefront of my musings. I couldn’t help but wonder whether our fellowship wouldn’t benefit from a little more fiction.

Nothing drastic, mind you. And nothing to diminish the importance of all the wonderful ministries throughout the world. After all, that is why we’re here; to evangelize the world and, through this venue and others, to share God’s victories and our testimonies with fellow believers.

Which brings me back to my ponderous question. Would the incorporation of fiction detract from the truth of God’s Word, or could it be more effectively used by His people to convey application of such truth? I admit that my premise is a little biased, but I’m determined to maintain at least some objectivity for the moment—so that both sides might be given due consideration.

There are those who, with the noblest of intentions and the purest of hearts, suggest that fiction simply distracts both the secular and the saved from the more important things which should occupy our minds. And, I must admit, I agree to a point. So much of today’s culture is inculcated by fantastical stories of truly dark attributes suddenly portrayed as not so bad after all. Misunderstood, perhaps, but eventually heroic and even beautiful. Admirable.

But why are we so quick to throw out the baby with the bathwater? Why can’t we salvage the seeds of the obvious fruit, here, and examine the reasons for why such undertakings are deemed “successful” in the first place? I think that to say that the world simply craves evil is, while in many ways true, insufficient and therefore counterproductive. After all, we wouldn’t be so quick to root for the predominantly good protagonist if evil was the prevalent hunger.

Isn’t it possible that the yearning which is fed and usually satisfied, at least to some degree if oftentimes only temporarily, has to do more with the engaging of our minds? Couldn’t it be symptomatic of the simple joy which comes of stepping outside the boundaries of our own reality, if only for a short while, for the notion of living vicariously through the stimulating characters of invention? Such experiences can be quite rewarding, after all.

Take the thought a step further. What if that sort of stepping out of our own reality and into a fictitious one could be successfully utilized to cause introspection? What if such tactics could be employed for the purpose of either reaching a seeking world, or revitalizing a saved soul?

When I write stories, my primary target audience is women of faith. Obviously I want to entertain, but that’s just a part of it. It is my goal, with every chapter and every work, to touch a life. I may not always manage this successfully, but my failings are born of finite humanness and occasional reluctance to rely on the fullness of God’s leading, and not because of any absence of possibility. For the possibility of creating for the reader an opportunity to grow closer to God through Jesus Christ by offering a fictitious application of a very real truth is a goal worth striving for, even if misses happen from time to time; to sort of till the soil of conviction for the reader. For that, I believe, is what fiction, when used responsibly, can do.

During the years of Jesus’ ministry, as He traveled with His disciples and addressed those who gathered to hear, He often employed parables for the purpose of conveying an application of a truth He was sharing. Were the parables essential to the teachings? I’ll leave that debate to those more qualified. All I can assert is that He chose to use them. He painted pictures with words and understanding is enhanced as a result. That, my friend, is fiction in its purest form.

It is by no means my intention to engage anyone in a war of words or a debate over preference. But I do respectfully suggest that it is only through constant critical discernment born of ongoing prayerful consideration that evangelism and ministry stays ahead of the threat of stagnancy. That doesn’t mean we necessarily need to latch on to the latest craze. Some have merit. Some need to die a quiet death. But would it be such a terrible thing to resurrect an old and proven idea? After all, if the Lord of our salvation considered fiction a viable resource for the accomplishment of the Father’s purpose, then maybe there’s something to the notion….

I’m Just Sayin’…

I’ve been thinking about a conversation I had with a woman on the subject of God’s character.  Actually, it was a series of several conversations, started by her upon learning that I’m a believer, and strung together by our children’s sports schedules.  It seemed that, for awhile, every time we ran into each other, she would pick up the conversation where it had last left off; as if she’d been thinking of nothing else since the previous encounter.

At first, I considered this a good sign;  I mean, if she is so obsessed with continuing the discussion, then maybe she’s really thinking through some things.  But as the weeks wore on, it became apparent that she hadn’t been listening to much of what I’d been saying at all.  Oh, sure, she would pick and choose the tidbits that were palatable to her, but she’d inevitably stretch and twist the truth of my assertions to fit into her ideology.  It was frustrating.

Finally, the conversation climaxed, and we were at an impasse, of sorts.  She had talked herself into a mild frustration, and was expecting me to affirm her point of view.  While I was more than willing to validate the emotional reaction to her circumstances–for her reaction was a completely natural one–I was not able to tell her that her reaction was right.  Nor was I able to agree with her perception of God with regard to those circumstances.

Then, I further offended her by suggesting that God is not the author of chaos, but rather, the solution to it.  Much more was shared, although I will not divulge it all in this venue–I don’t believe I have that liberty, since she was trusting me with her confidences.  Suffice it to say, my refusal to compromise on the issue of God’s sovereignty in a fallen world upset the woman.  She no longer sought me out as she had done before, and it wasn’t long before I observed her engaging in similar confrontations with other parents.  In them, it seemed, she had found what she wanted.  She was afforded the opportunity to emerge from those conversations as the victor, for it was apparent that her new friends had no vested interest in the outcome of the woman’s so-called investigations.

I must admit, I was glad for the reprieve, but there was another part of me that wished I had been able to say just the right thing, in just the right way, in order to stimulate a change in the heart of this person.  I felt as if I had failed her, I suppose.

After some time, I began to see the situation more clearly–distance has a way of doing that.  Now I realize that I did fulfil my obligation–I answered this woman as best I could, and my responses were nestled in silently spoken prayers and God-centered truth.  I may not have answered perfectly, but, I finally accepted, I answered.  And that, I understand now, was what prompted her to move on to another audience. 

So, why did I share all of this?  I wanted to encourage you with what God revealed to me through that experience.  Sometimes we avoid God-centered discussions and confrontations because we don’t know how to answer, or we doubt that our answers are good enough–spiritual enough.  And although there is much wisdom in being slow to speak, and in discerning when to speak, I think that there is often fear and foolishness in never speaking at all.  Even if it seems that no good is coming from it, doesn’t the God of our salvation deserve our efforts, as feeble as they may be?

I don’t see that woman anymore.  Time had moved us in separate directions, and she hadn’t shown interest in fostering any connections.  But I can now say that, whether that woman gleaned anything of eternal value from our discussions or not, I was blessed by the reassurance that He was there with me through it all, feeding my mind and soul with words I could impart.  It may not have been a beautiful delivery, but it was God-honoring.  I’m just sayin’…

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