What Is To Come

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Iris Peters, faithful daughter of Christ, 1973-2012

As death grew closer for my sweet friend, Iris Peters, a woman who valiantly battled brain cancer, our conversations turned increasingly toward heaven. She had so many questions, and as she and I wrestled with this heavy and pressing topic, we realized it wasn’t often addressed in the evangelical community.

Why is that? It can be hard to have an eternal perspective when our longing is never fed. But if we truly understood what awaits us, what God has prepared for us, our every breath would be, “Come Lord Jesus, come.”

This, my friend, is why I consider my chronic illness and pain a blessing–because it daily reminds me, as Mary Bowen, my guest proclaims, that “The Best is Yet to Be.” As you read her post, pause to rest in God’s presence this morning. And dream with me about the day when there will be no more sadness, no more sin and destruction, and no more pain.

The Best is Yet to Be
by Mary Bowen

We’ve all felt it, a “quiet but throbbing ache,” as Joni Eareckson Tada calls it in Heaven, Your Real Home. Inside we can sense a restless yearning for more and better. The relentless alarm-clock-590383_640ticking of the clock often seems like an enemy, snatching away our pleasant moments all too soon. Time makes us feel as if we’re caught in a strong current rushing downstream towards the waterfall of death.

Why do we long for permanent peace and love? Because we were created for them. “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men. . .” (Eccl. 3:11). God made us for heaven: “. . .so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose. . .” (2 Cor. 5:4, 5). In the Trinity God enjoys such wonderful fellowship that He created us for this same intimate communion with Himself and one another. (The Sacred Romance).

Last summer I reveled in my “happy place” on the patio with the purple, yellow, orange and fuchsia of our flowers. But I don’t want to just see beauty, I want to experience it, as C.S. Lewis wrote, “. . . to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it” (The Weight of Glory, 1949).  We’ll do that in heaven.

Our happiest times with family and friends seem to pull back heaven’s mysterious curtain, revealing a glimpse of our life to come.  In his comprehensive book, Heaven, Randy Alcorn landscape-1590888_640tantalizes with descriptions of rich fellowship, incredible beauty and joy, and adventures. We’ll each have exciting assignments from God.

So it’s not just floating around on clouds playing a harp and enduring endless worship services? I sighed with relief when I discovered that heaven won’t be boring, because God isn’t. We are “destined for unlimited pleasure at the deepest level,” writes Joni (Heaven. . . Your Real Home, 1995). The famous poet Robert Browning affirmed, “There’s a further good conceivable beyond the utmost earth can realize” (“Prince Hohenstiel-Schwangau,” 1871).

As we set our hearts and minds on things above (Col. 3:1,2), we are pleasing God. Life on earth will never satisfy us completely. Disappointments and heartaches make us long for heaven. Yet our trials are not wasted, but actually count for something. A godly response to them will be rewarded in heaven. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, person-371015_640but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

Appearances are everything in our society; an athlete’s ability, a model’s figure are all admired. But their strength and beauty diminish with time, finally pushing them to the outside as younger ones step in to take their place. How we all fear aging! Yet for the Christian, each day brings us closer to heaven. We can accept what others fear, because we know that our time on earth is not the end of the story. C. S. Lewis wrote that this life is like only the title page of a book, and chapter one starts in heaven. Then, each successive chapter will be better than the last. . .”The [school] term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning!” (The Last Battle, 1956).

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dscn1905Mary Bowen writes and edits for Grace Ministries International in Marietta, Georgia. For many years her articles and poetry have been published in newspapers, magazines and anthologies. She has worked as a reporter and freelancer, and served as an editor with the North American Mission Board.

 

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livingbygracepic-jpLet’s talk about this: Mary shared such a joyful post on our life to come! Do you experience joy at the thought of being with Jesus? What are you looking forward to most? Do you feel fear when you consider death? If so, I would love to pray for you.

Leave your thoughts–and encouragement!–in the comments below or over on Living By Grace on Facebook. We can learn so much from one another!

 

If You Make it Through This Post, You’re in the Top One Percent

ID-100264082They say, actually, I’ve said, blog titles matter. A lot. Most of you–like 89.7% of you, decided whether or not to read this post by my title alone.  I have a feeling this is doubly true for my subscribers. Fail. (Actually, I’m wondering if any of y’all are receiving my posts in your inbox because my hubby’s signed up but hasn’t.) Another 5% of you, well, of them because clearly if you’re still reading, you’re in the top 5.3%. … Or is that the bottom? Regardless, unlike that other 5%, you have not checked out after this long and rambling paragraph. And for that I applaud you. (Or pity you.)

But it’s the holidays, and my brain is saturated by a bit too much junk and random storylines (only one of them being my own.) Plus, I just learned from two sweet blogging friends, Renee Blare and Eileen Rife, that I’ve been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers award.

How fun is that? I’m normally pretty bad about those types of things because well… I can be technologically lazy. But this one intrigued me, and like I said, I’m in a jing-jingaly (AKA goofy, adventurous mood), and I thought some of you might be interested in a pre-2015 update. (Is that a thing?)

Oh, but first, fun news! Book reviewer Julie Arduini chose my debut, Beyond I Do as her favorite fiction read for 2014. 🙂 You can read her review here. Here’s hoping she WhenDawnBreakspreliminary(and all of you) likes When Dawn Breaks even more! And if you’re up and looking for an encouraging message to motivate you toward spiritual greatness this New Year’s, visit Cynthia Simmons Heart of the Matter online show to listen to our discussion of surrendering our giftedness into God’s hands, enduring the often painful growth process, and allowing Him to use you and your uniqueness to minister to others and build His kingdom. You can listen live at 9:30 EST here, and I should have a link to the archive soon.

Now for the blog award. Having accepted, here are the rules I now must follow:

The Rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Put the award logo on your blog.
3. Answer the 10 questions they’ve sent you.
4. Make up 10 new questions for your nominees to answer.

So, here’s the questions Renee posed. I’ll post and answer Eileen’s after. (For those of you really up for massive amounts of Jennifer-randomness. ha!) Come back Saturday or Monday (I’m not sure when I’ll post yet) for a regularly scheduled yet rescheduled blog post. 🙂

1. How is your blog different today versus the day it began?

You know, I think it’s pretty much the same–Christian living based, mainly testimonial in style. I do have a lot more guests now than I did initially, and I love that. I feel that makes it more well-rounded. After all, we need each other. We all have unique insights into spiritual matters, unique experiences and unique yet universal challenges. 🙂 (Come back… uh… next time (maybe Saturday?) to read a great post from Stephanie Prichard on forgiveness. (Perfect timing post the holidays, maybe?)

2. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be?

Easy! Spur every Christian to live out what they believe. Can you imagine what our world would be like–how many hungry would be filled and hurting would be healed if we all got off the church pew and started BigLivetangibly showing the love of Christ? I’m seeing this happen more and more at my church, and it’s awesome. Truly beautiful. Life changing, like truly. We see life change every day.

3. Who or what would be your ultimate post?

Oh, this is hard, but if I could somehow write one succinct, clear, and powerful post on surrender that stuck with my readers, truly stuck with them, I think my answer to question 2 would happen naturally. Now, if I could find and maintain a position of surrender myself…

4. In 2015, what are your plans?

Oh, my, I have a lot! Were you wanting a novel answer, Renee? 😉 First, I’m working on an exciting fundraising project for Takin it to the Streets, an Omaha Metro ministry I serve with. I also have two books releasing this year (one that has already released, When Dawn Breaks, and the other that is scheduled to release in October). So, I’ll have edits and such to complete. I’m also working on a new story, one I recently realized I need to majorly gut and start over on, but that’s a good thing. A great thing, because I know the changes will be awesome. Necessary. I’m going to the Mt. Hermon conference in Northern California this year and hope to meet my editor in person. Yay! Then my loves will meet me in San Jose and we’ll head south to San Diego. Then in September my hubby and I will celebrate our 20th in Seattle, where my 4th novel (scheduled to release in winter of 2016) is set. Busy but exciting year. 🙂

5. Do you have a favorite day of the year?

ID-100298323The one I’m in? haha. You know, when we first moved to the midwest, I hated winter. But a few years in, I’ve found I love every season. Though I probably love fall most. The colors, scents, flavors, activities. Valas Pumpkin Patch, Nebraska City with its beautiful, vibrant foliage.

Oh! Do you mean day-day? That’s Easter, hands down. My life would be devastatingly different if not for Christ’s death and resurrection.

6. Why and how did you start blogging?

I’m not entirely sure. I’ve often wondered if it’s just part of the writer’s brain, as if we need to someone include the ENTIRE WORLD in everything we think and do. It’s like I’ll be reading a Bible passage and God will speak to me through it, and I’ll think, “Oh! I need to write about this!” Or I’ll be having a fun day with friends and will absolutely have to chase down a random stranger to cajole into taking our picture so I can post it here. Or on Facebook. Most likely both. As to how, I just started. This blog is hosted by WordPress, and they make it pretty easy.

7. What do you like about blogging?

It gives me an outlet to share the 5,000 conversations zipping through my brain every day. 🙂 It also makes me feel more connected to my readers, well, when they converse back. 🙂

8. What have you discovered through blogging?

That God is amazing. Faithful. Loving. Gentle. Attentive.

9. Who or what is the one thing that means the most to you?

One thing? I’d have to say Christ, but can I add two more? My hubby and princess. Love them both to pieces. 2012-06-23 22.29.50

10. What do you want the readers of your blog to know about you?

That I have been dramatically changed by grace, and that that same grace is available to them. 🙂 Really, I hope they know less about me and more about Christ in me. Because truly, I’m a let down. But knowing Christ on an intimate level? Now that’s life abundant!

Now, for the 1.5% of you who have made it this far, you really deserve a cookie or something. Well, now, isn’t that a great idea! If you’ve made it this far, let me know in the comments what one thing you’d like me or perhaps others to know about you, and you’ll get entered to win a copy of my latest release, When Dawn Breaks. 🙂 Considering everyone else has long since closed out this window, you stand a great chance of winning. 🙂

Now for Eileen’s questions. 

1. What is your foremost prayer in this new year?
I’m not sure if it will remain my top prayer, but this morning I wrote down Psalm 105:1-4 as my first memory passage and have determined to make it a prayer. (I love personalizing and praying Scripture!) The verse is: Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.
Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
    Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.
Exult in his holy name;
    rejoice, you who worship the Lord.
ID-10075996Search for the Lord and for his strength;
    continually seek him.
I could expand on and camp out on each line indefinitely, but I really love verse four–search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek Him. Each day, I long to do just that, asking the Holy Spirit to help me.
2. Name three goals that you’d like to shoot for.
To consistently memorize Scripture, to draw near to God at regular intervals throughout the day, and to follow a prayerfully planned schedule each day.
3. What is your current writing project?
I’m working on a sequel to Beyond I Do. Here’s the blurb:Sixty-one year old Angela Meadows is ready for a clean slate, to launch a career, and to embrace her new life in Christ. But self-loathing and remorse for a life forever lost hold her back. When she encounters a single mom married to an incarcerated felon and her children, Angela’s shame becomes swallowed by something greater—compassion. Her past draws her to them, but will it drive away the only man she’s truly loved?

4. What do you enjoy doing for fun?
Spending time with my hubby, daughter, or amazing friends. And if I can get them all in the same room, it’s even better!
5. Other than the Bible, name the book that’s had the most impact on your life and why.
thProbably Living Proof: Sharing the Gospel Naturally. It’s really helped me understand nonbelievers more, has greatly shaped my evangelism efforts, and has had a tremendous impact on how I do ministry. It’s a phenomenal book!
6. What will you do in this new year to reach out to someone else other than your family?
Oh, my, this could be a long list. 🙂 I serve in numerous ministries, so I have plenty of opportunities to share the love of Christ. Our church does a great job of facilitating events designed to get our church family off their pews and out into the community. Our next one will be an epic Easter celebration. 🙂 In addition, I’m part of a women’s connection leadership team that plans monthly events designed to facilitate closer friendships, spiritual growth, and to help each of us reach out to nonattenders. (You can read more about some of our events here.)
7. Explain why you like to write.
Writing is and has always been how I process my thoughts and feelings and dig deeper into learned truths. That God could use something He’s used to grow me for years to grow others is simply amazing.
8. What legacy do you hope to leave behind when you die?
The hope of Christ.
9. Do you consider the local church important? Why or why not?
Oh, my, yes! God has placed us in a local body for a reason, and that is to be interdependent. Our gifts can build others up, and theirs can do the same for us. The local church is also God’s action plan for bringing the world to Christ. So yeah, the local body is a big deal.
10. How can women who feel alone overcome isolation?
Hm… I know the pat answer–draw near to Christ, but even so, we all need human connection. It’s how we were created. Sometimes God places us in a period of isolation for our growth, but most times, I believe He longs to see us in deep and authentic community. I think getting connected with a local body, focusing on the needs of others, and finding ways to get plugged in (most often through serving) are great ways to form authentic, healthy connections.
So now for my questions…
1. What is the best thing that happened to you in 2014?
2. What is one thing you’d like to do differently in 2015?
3. What is one thing you learned in 2014?
4. In what ways do you grow your most important relationships?
5. What one verse has stood out to you most in the past year?
6. In what ways did you see Christ this past year?
7. In what ways did you try to reveal Christ this past year?
8. Has God given you a word to focus on for 2015?
9. How has your view of grace changed this past year and why?
10. If you could be known for one thing, what would that be?
I nominate my Writing Buddies: Carole Towriss, Marji Lane Clubine, Joanne Sher, Mary Watson Hamilton, Ginger Murphey Solomon, and Lillian Kohler.

Must We Love Ourselves to Love Others?

loveLove. Such a confusing, abstract emotion. It’s something we “fall into” and “out of”,  something we chase after…

There’s a notion that says “You must love yourself in order to love others.”

Is this true? Biblical?

I’m no theologian, but I can’t locate a verse that says this. In fact, again and again, God tells us to take the position of a servant, and to honor others above ourselves.

To die to ourselves so we can live for God.

It’s hard to die to something you love.

Perhaps biblical love isn’t so much an emotion as it is an action.

Consider 1 Corinthians 13:4-6

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

For you see, emotions wane. Therefore, true love must be a choice and an action, the moment-by-moment discipline of laying ourselves aside so that God can love others through us.

The Bible says we love because God first loved us. Therefore, our love comes not from us but from Him. It is when we completely surrender ourselves to God that we are fulfilled. That is when we begin to live lives of passion and purpose, of courage and impact.

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Learning to love is receiving and giving the love only God can give.

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Consider insecurity and fear of rejection and all those negative emotions that supposedly stem from a lack of self-love. What if the opposite is true? What if those emotions stem from love of self and a desire to protect self.
We protect that which we love.

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But when we die to ourselves, there is but one focus, what God would do throughAshleywithElSalvadororphan us. 

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And that is the most freeing occurrence we can experience.

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Let me provide an example. I have a less than glamorous past, and for years, I vehemently longed to hide that past. This fear kept me from embracing God’s call to write for many years. I told Him again and again, “I’ll only write if you protect me from exposure.”

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I’m sure you can imagine God’s response. He knew His grace is best seen when revealed through an imperfect sinner.

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But still I fought Him. I was afraid to tell my story for fear of what others would think and for fear of losing friends. Until I started hanging out with at risk teens and the homeless. Suddenly, I wanted for them to see Jesus and what He could do so badly, I no longer cared about embarrassing or shaming myself. My fear and insecurity went away because I found something more important–the saving of another life.

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The results were glorious, inspiring, fulfilling, because the more I died to myself and lived for God, the more I experienced His all-consuming love pour through me.

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You cannot be fearful, prideful, envious, and insecure when God’s Spirit invades your core. It’s impossible.

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So what does this all mean?

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1. If you want to experience an abundant, joy-filled, peace-saturated life, ask God to help you die to yourself–your fears, desires, pride, insecurities. All of it. Then ask Him to replace those things with His all-consuming love as you follow after Him with surrendered obedience.

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2. Parents, if you want your children to rise above the toxicity of their clique-infested schools, if you want for them to grab hold of a purpose that will propel them forward with a God-given passion, teach them to see others through God-sized lenses and to get involved in His mission. Then sit back and watch them thrive.

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livingbygracepic.jpLet’s talk about this! Looking back on your journey, when have you felt most fulfilled? What do you think of my take on love? Consider a time when you’ve felt God’s love coursing through you. What were you doing? What did His love motivate you to do?
Share your thoughts in the comments below or at Livng by Grace on Facebook.

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And congrats to Lillianne Kohler! You won a copy of Cara Putman’s novel, Shadowed by Grace! I’ll be contacting you soon to get that book to you.

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Other posts you might enjoy:

Who Gets Your Leftovers?

Today’s reading: Proverbs 3; Micah 3:6-15

Today’s focal verse: Proverbs 3:9-10

Today’s focus: Giving God our best

1381091_time_is_moneyThis week’s memory verse: Proverbs 3:9-10

Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the best part of everything you produce.
Then he will fill your barns with grain,
    and your vats will overflow with good wine (NLT).

Let’s face it, there’s only so much of us to go around. We’ve only got so much resources, so much time, so much energy. At any moment in your day, you’ve got to choose–who or what will you focus on and who will take a back seat? If you’re like me, you often feel like you’re running in circles chasing fires, always one too many steps behind.

So what do you do when your day spins out of control?

You stop, give it to God, and determine to do things differently, placing Him and the things of Him at the top of your to do list.

Proverbs 3:9-10 says:

Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine.

Although this verse is talking about our material wealth, I believe the principle applies to all of our resources, including our time, gifts, and talents.

It can be quite easy to write a check to a ministry. Serving in that same ministry or carving out devoted time for prayer can be another matter.

I’ve been involved in children’s ministry for almost 15 years now. That’s fifteen years, 780 weeks, 2,340 hours of craft prep, snotty-nose wiping, mess-cleaning, game-playing, and yes, there have been times when I’ve felt burned out, when my flesh wanted to take the easy way out, to absent-mindedly go through the motions without fully engaging. But then God’s spirit within me pricks my conscious and reminds me, no matter what ministry I’m doing, I’m serving Him, and He deserves my absolute best.

Pause to prayerfully consider this week’s memory verse. Think of your daily Bible reading and prayer time. Have you set aside a time for God when you are at your best, most alert? If not, when would be a good time to do that?

Think of the ministry you serve in. How might your service be an act of worship? And how might viewing it as such change you how approach it?

Think of your gifts and talents. Are you using them to glorify God or to glorify yourself? For example, I believe God has gifted me with a desire to write. This week and last, the Proverbs Bible study has taken a large chunk of my time. Time I could’ve spent working on articles or my current manuscript, and yes, there have been moments when my flesh fought for dominance, inviting me to join it’s pity, “what about me!” party, but I chose not to listen. I chose to obey what I believed God had called me to do–engage in the Proverbs study, giving it my absolute best, trusting Him to take care of the other stuff.

I don’t regret it, for every moment I follow wholeheartedly after Him, I feel His peace, His love, His presence.

Let’s talk about this. Share your thoughts in the comments below or join the discussion in our online study group.


Click to join ProverbsStudy

Let’s take a moment to consider our progress. Don’t try to answer or contemplate all the questions below as often, when we attempt to do too much, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and lose effectiveness. Instead, focus on the one area you really want to see growth in.

I know many of you are following along with our Proverbs reading and Bible study.

How are you doing with your Bible reading and verse memorization commitment? Have you established a routine, and if so, has it helped you to be more disciplined? (You might find it helpful to review January 1st’s devotional.)

As you continue to read through Proverbs and store God’s Word in your heart, are you noticing a difference in how you approach and view your day? Are you consulting with God more throughout the day, seeking His wisdom? (You might find it helpful to review January 2nd’s devotional.)

How are you doing with your Bible reading time? Are you taking the time to really digest it and dig for God’s meaning? Have you tried using a lexicon? Reading verses and/or passages in different translations? Any new discoveries? (You might find it helpful to review January 3rd’s devotion.)

How has your trust level grown? Are you choosing to think about and focus on God’s truth and unchanging nature? And if so, has that helped you experience increased peace? (You might find it helpful to focus on January 5th’s devotional.)  

What’s *one* thing you choose to focus on today?

Pushing Past Our Comfort Zones

April was awesome! With all the sorrow in our world, it was so encouraging to read of others actively demonstrating the love of Christ. And today, we launch a new month. I did want to clarify on the prizes, as I think they may be unclear. The gift basket goes to someone sharing their Reach Out Story. One randomly selected reader also wins—a free book. So there is one gift-basket that goes to the Reach Out contributor, and a book give-away that goes to one randomly selected reader. 🙂

Today’s story comes from a sweet woman named Elaine Cooper. She’s written for me on a few occasions and always has heart-stirring stories to share. Today she talks about serving God in our weakness–when He calls us to do something we feel ill-equipped to do. As a woman who burns cookies, forgets key ingredients, and gets distracted in the middle of boiling rice, I so can relate!

                   

                                Reluctant Cook By Elaine Marie Cooper

Let me be honest— I am not the greatest cook in the world. Thoughts of potlucks at church and Bible study nearly send me into an anxiety attack. I always imagine kindly Christians munching into my culinary creation and assuring me how good it is…until they turn around and spit it into their napkin, hoping not to be noticed! Now, I have never seen that happen, but it is always my fear. Cooking has never been easy for me.

Recently my husband announced that he really wanted to serve dinner to visiting missionaries from France while they were here raising support. Gary (the missionary husband) is an old friend of ours and we were so excited to entertain he and his wife Kate and their one-year-old daughter, Lucie. I looked forward to meeting his new family.

But to cook a dinner for these precious folks who are used to European cuisine? This was enough to send me into a tailspin! On top of that distress, I was planning to leave town soon and had a million things on “my plate” to get done for my trip.

I thought of that song from Scripture that I’ve loved for years: “How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them that bring good news.” How lovely indeed—and what an honor to serve missionaries in such a small way as to provide nourishment for their bodies while they seek to nourish souls.

“OK, Lord. Please show me what to make.”

Heading for my computer, I Googled “crock pot meals” which are generally a safe bet for me. By “safe” I mean, safe for the recipients of my food!

Very quickly, the Lord led me to a recipe for, of all things, Beef Barley Soup. Now, I have never made this soup before, but Kate is British and somehow it seemed like a good choice considering her background. It felt like a jolly good recipe. J

Printing off the ingredients, I headed for the store early that morning with a bit of trepidation but trusting the Lord to help me with the menu. I found everything that I needed for the soup and then headed for the breads and cheeses. That seemed European. I chose three types of cheese and two different breads and prayed the Lord would bless my attempts at presenting a delicious meal for them.

Well, it smelled incredibly tasty cooking in the crockpot for several hours and even my husband and I were looking forward to it.

By the time Gary, Kate, and Lucie arrived, we were all anxious to dig in. Gary and Kate enjoyed the soup so much they each had seconds! Even little Lucie liked it. And Kate commented on how European it felt. It was such an answer to prayer for this reluctant chef!

But the real joy was in putting myself aside—my busy schedule, my inadequacies, my fears—and allowing God to show me that He would guide me, if I would just be obedient to him.

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Elaine Marie Cooper grew up in Massachusetts but now lives in the Midwest with her husband, her three dogs and one huge cat. She has two married sons and triplet grandchildren who are now two years old. Elaine’s only daughter, Bethany, passed away in 2003 from a brain tumor.
Cooper’s most recent release, The Promise of Deer Run, was the winner in the Romance category at the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival.
Her debut novel, The Road to Deer Run, was a finalist in the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, received an Honorable Mention in the 2011 Los Angeles Book Festival, and was a Clash of the Titles Champion for “Most Romantic Moment.”
She is currently completing The Legacy of Deer Run, due for release in 2012 through Sword of the Spirit Publishing.
Cooper has been a magazine freelance writer for many years and is also a contributor to the devotional called Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home by Edie Melson.
The Promise of Deer Run
The Year is 1790.
The American Revolution has long been over, but the wounds of battle still linger in the hearts and minds of many.
A veteran Continental soldier still awaits the return of his missing father, years after the last battle. Haunted by the painful memories of war and scarred from betrayal in love, the young man turns away from faith. The only hope he clings to is that perhaps his father still lives.
Then he discovers his hope is shared by a young woman, who understands loss and the longing for a father. As they encounter this unexpected connection, their hearts become drawn together. But jealousy, slander, and misunderstandings ignite a fire of doubt and mistrust—destroying their relationship.
Can two souls longing for healing and trust, love again? Can faith—and a family—be restored?
Do you have a Reach Out story to share? Shoot it to me at jenniferaslattery(at)gmail(dot)com. (You might even win May’s gift basket!) And readers, remember, you have a chance to win Deborah Raney’s Remember to Forget.
And much thanks to May’s Reach Out donors:
I’d love to hear from you. When has God asked you to serve outside your comfort zone? What’d you learn from the experience?