Friday, September 26, 2008

The Ministry of Listening

I just got back from a booksigning tour, and during that time I was really blessed to see how God was in the details. I met so many wonderful people and listened to their stories. I laughed with them, and cried with them. I prayed with them and did my best to minister to them.

Each night I went back to my hotel room exhausted and completely drained of energy, but I always felt that I had done exactly as the Lord had wanted. Working in His will and allowing Him to lead and guide left me refreshed spirtually and restored me physically. It was rather like the man in Chariots of Fire who said, "When I run I feel God's pleasure." I felt God's pleasure when I listened.

Sometimes all a person needs is for someone to listen. Sometimes folks just need to share their fears,their pain,their worries.

It hurts so much to think we go unheard--that no one cares. I've heard young people comment so often about how no one will listen to them--that even their parents think they have nothing important to say. I've heard older people say the same thing about their children and the rest of the world. I've heard wives say it about husbands, and husbands say it about wives. I've heard the sick complain about their doctors and nurses in this way, as well as supervisors about their employees, and so on.

It seems such a simple thing to listen, but in fact, it can be very hard. It requires putting self aside, of clearing the mind, and closing our mouths. Most important of all--it requires that we care enough to make the effort.

The people of the world are hurting and desperate for relationship. They desire a oneness with Jesus, a reconcilation with their Heavenly Father. And who knows - maybe the road home for them will start not with a footstep, but with a conversation that is heard and understood. Maybe someone will take the time to listen and that one act of kindness will forever change a life. Here's to listening more. And who knows, in doing this maybe we'll heard the sound of hearts healing and angels rejoicing as the lost are found.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Quick Update

Thanks for the prayers. Rainy came through surgery just fine, but they didn't find the problem they thought they would. In fact, they really don't know what the problem is, so I would appreciate continued prayer.

The blessing of time

Once again, I have to apologize for the delay in posting.

My grandaughter Rainy is very sick and it's consumed the family to be sure. Rainy was born with an inoperable cyst on her brain and has had a shunt placed in her brain since she was very small. Unfortunately, the shunt doesn't always work, and her various complications with the cyst are not at all textbook.

Thursday night she was rushed to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and put into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. This morning they've announced they are doing emergency brain surgery for the 17th time on this beautiful little six year old. I covet your prayers.

What my relationship with this child has taught me is that life is a gift - a special blessing of time. The doctor told us when Rainy was born that we needed to "love her while we had her." They didn't expect her to live past 5 years old.

We have definitely been blessed by Rainy. She's vivacious, only suffers minor retardation, and while she is delayed in her abilities--she's an incredible asset to this family. I only wish they all lived in Montana instead of Kansas.

So today I am writing this note to encourage you to see life for what it really is - a blessing of time. We don't know how much of this time we get. We don't know what other complications will come into play to spoil our "time". But, while we have it - while we have each other - no moment should be wasted. Love each other other while you have each other.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Better Late than Never

Hello to everyone out there. I'm still on the road, this time participating in a booksigning tour in the New England states with Kim Vogel Sawyer, Cathy Marie Hake, and Judith Miller.

We started out in New York on August 26th and are wrapping things up with the wonderful folks at Christian Book Distributors. Many of you may order books from these great people at, and if not, I encourage you to check them out.

I was invited over a year ago to come to Peabody, Mass. and share time with the staff at Christian Book Distributors. I've looked forward to this adventure and it has not disappointed. The folks who work at this wonderful place have treated me so kindly. Today I met with the staff and spoke about how important they are to the ministry I have in writing. And it is so true.

No writer is an island. Our books are the result of many prayers, and many hands. The fingerprints of editors, proofers, typesetters, manufacturers and distributors are all over each successful project, and I can't thank them enough for the part they play in this mission field.

Tomorrow, Christian Book Distributors will open its doors to the public for one of their three warehouse sales that take place each year. Thousands of people anticipate this event and will start turning out in the middle of the night to line up for the sale. Now that's devotion. I will be there from 9-11 a.m. to meet the public and sign books. If you're in the area, I would love to see you. I would also love for you to meet these folks and see what they are doing to spread God's love and Gospel.

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