The first person to read my new book, Stay, sent me an email before he had finished reading it. It’s hard to put down, he wrote. As encouraging as that was, it didn’t prepare me for the email he sent after he finished reading Stay.
That message contained a list of what God had done for him through the book as he read it. And it floored me. After I finished reading his message, I just stood there at first. I felt something complex deep in my spirit and soul: I felt… astonished at God. When I realized for the first time what God was doing with this book—in the real life of another person—I knew that God had created—and used for the first time—a specific spiritual blueprint.
I was deeply grateful…
- for the level of detailed care God had demonstrated for an individual.
- that God had allowed me to participate in it.
- that God had so clearly shown me what he had done.
It was amazing. And it was enough.
Yet, I also realized that once a spiritual blueprint exists—although God's work is unique in each life—there is a precedent for a similar type of work to be done by God’s Spirit many times over, in many of his children. So that’s what I’m asking God to do now with the book.
There is a specific kind of darkness that needs to be pushed back, and God's light will pour into that space. It's his kingdom coming here on earth, as it is in Heaven. Those aren't just poetic words; it’s an actual spiritual reality.
If there is too much darkness in the hard places in your life or the life of someone you care about, maybe this book is one of the tools that the Holy Spirit has forged specifically for you or your loved one—to destroy that darkness and make room for more of God’s light that brings life, freedom, and wholeness.
Recommended Reading & Viewing
Looking for input that strengthens your spirit?
Two of the most inspiring books I’ve read recently:
- The Healing Reawakening by Francis MacNutt – This book rocked my world more than a little. I highly recommend it. It opened my eyes, gave me hope, and, frankly, gave me a ravenous appetite to do what Jesus said in John 14:12 that I would do! I explain in this recent blog post; check it out.
- Nine O’Clock in the Morning by Dennis Bennett – This is the true story of an Episcopalian rector who received something amazing from the Holy Spirit, and what happened in his life for the decade following that. It is one of the most thorough and clear explanations I’ve found in writing of the type of experience he had, and the story is fascinating. (And—very cool for readers—the link above for this book goes to the Internet Archive (Archive.org), an online free library where you can check out this book and others as EPUB or PDF files to read on your computer or other device!)
A very good video message about freedom:
- You Are Free – The talk from Lee Burns, Executive Vice President of Hillsong College, Australia, starts at 40:39, but if you have time, I recommend watching the whole video.
And an awesome kids’ book!
- We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and Kids – It’s a good story, with solid principles for gardening and for life—and it made me want to plant things, even though it’s August! After listening to the audio version of the book (recorded by Joanna and all the Gaines kids), I took an organic sunflower seed from the kitchen and pushed it right into the dirt of a large flowerpot outside my door! Even after half a lifetime of gardening, it never stops amazing me how being connected with growing our food and caring for plants is so deeply nourishing to the soul. This book is a great introduction to gardening for young readers, even if there’s only room for one potted plant in the house, the way the Gaines kids started out.
A New Website Feature for You!
I’m so excited to introduce you to a new resource on my website. In Recommended Reading, you'll find some of the very best books I've read for specific seasons of life, such as…
And, if you happen to be a writer or other type of artist, there’s even a section for you with some of my favorite books and a video for the writing life.
I was listening to Bob Goff’s Everyone Always recently (another great book—check it out), and he posed the question, “How is your life working for the people around you?” Our freedom, health, and wholeness—as vital as they are to us as individuals and as important as that is to God—is always also about what he’s doing, and wants to do, for others.
I love hearing about what God is doing in and through his people—and what his people are doing in response. In fact, hit reply to this email and let me know what’s happening in and through you.
I’d also like to know which vegetables you’re growing, and what good books you’re reading.
P.S. If you’ve read my book Stay: Why I’m Still Here, a Spiritual Memoir, would you consider leaving a book review on Goodreads and BookBub? And if you ordered it on Amazon, would you leave a review on Amazon? Thanks!