Leave a comment on THIS post by 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, April 21, 2015 to be entered in the DRAWING for a copy of the book below. If you mention in your comment that you’re a follower (see in the left sidebar “Join This Site” and “Follow by Email”), I'll add your name a second time in the drawing. U.S. mailing address required to receive a paper book. Read book giveaway details at Disclaimers. To provide you security, please leave your email address like this: johnATyahooDOTcom. Winner announced in next Thursday's blog post.
If any of you received an email with my 2014 Christmas greeting, I apologize. I did nothing for that to get sent out. Sorry it gave you unwanted mail in your inbox. I can't explain how it got delivered, especially since it was from many months ago. So sorry for the inconvenience. Instead of making you mad, I hope you can smile and remember the reason for the Christmas season, even in June.
WHEN DAWN BREAKS by Jennifer Slattery
Rejoicing Over Closed Doors
When a door closes, do you rejoice or slam your fists against it? Do you remain on the stoop, trying to push your way in, or do you look up, awaiting direction from your Heavenly Father?
Accepting redirection, especially when we’ve become entrenched in our current path or when we’ve developed fondness for a particular destination can be tough. When we focus on the detour sign, or our plans, or ourselves period. But when we focus on God and His ever-faithful, loving, unchanging nature, then redirection becomes easier.
After nearly a decade of almost full-time ministry, we moved, then moved again, and again. Always the newbie, never staying long enough, it felt, to truly put down roots. We finally ended up in a small town, one where we felt alone and uninvited. (It’s hard being new, the outsider, when everyone else is family.) Eventually, needing a safe place to land, we attended a home church while we searched for a church home. One with no outreach events to plan and launch, no dramas to facilitate or classes to teach. Honestly, I felt like God was through with me. And that thought left me broken.
Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you’ve been in a place of waiting so long, you’ve begun to wonder if God’s forgotten about you entirely. If He’s done with you. But what if you’re waiting period is preparing you for an all new direction?
Sometimes God must close a door to help us see the one He’s opened wide for us.
As I look back, I realize what a blessed gift that brief desert period was because that was when I picked up my keyboard. It was my island of Patmos. Although I wrote on occasion prior to this, mainly as ministry aids, I never took my writing seriously. It was one of those “fill-a-need” things.
Once ministry opportunities ceased to exist for me, I needed an outlet for all the ideas swirling through my brain. This was when my love for writing was born and now I look back on that painful time with gratitude, realizing it was all part of God’s big-picture plan.
What about you? Are you standing before an open door, looking back at all those “training” steps God led you on, or are you trudging through the valley? When trudging it can be easy to think God’s forgotten or abandoned us, but in Scripture He promises to fulfill His plans for us. He promises to carry His plans to completion. Even now, as you hover between the disappointments and rejoicing, God is at work with one eye on the goal. Which means, you can rest in whatever stage of the journey you’re on knowing God will do what needs to be done in you to prepare you for His big-picture plan.
You’ve probably noticed I use that term, big-picture plan, a lot. For me, it’s a reminder of how completely other God’s plan is from mine. I might angst over a promotion, a move, a house…God angsts over lost souls. I often get distracted by today, but God’s worried about eternity. He came to seek and save the lost. And to conform us into His likeness, which means He will do what it takes to strip away inferior priorities, pride and selfishness so that we can be cleaned and open vessels ready to do His will.
Whenever we find ourselves fighting against His will, we know His work in us is not complete.
Jennifer Slattery’s recent release is When Dawn Breaks. Here’s a little about the book:
As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution propel her north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. Then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?
Read a free, 36-page excerpt of When Dawn Breaks.
Here’s where you can buy a copy of When Dawn Breaks:
Barnes and Noble
Jennifer has graciously offered an eBook copy of When Dawn Breaks to one of the commenters on this blog post.
The winner of last Thursday’s blog post for a copy of A Mother to Love by Gail Gaymer Martin is Ann K. I’ll email you. Thanks all for commenting. Watch for more book giveaways.
Till next time … keep on smiling.