“My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
WHOO-HOO … HAPPY DECEMBER!! Time for Christmas egg nog, mulled cidar, and steaming hot cocoa — bottoms up!!
And speaking of beverages … have you ever been so thirsty that you glugged half of glass of something before you even tasted it? Well, I have, and it’s a memory that will stay with me forever.
It was a steamy St. Louis summer and I was hot and sweaty from playing outside with my friends, chest heaving with exertion and throat parched as I bolted into the kitchen where my mom was making dinner.
Talk about a mirage in the desert! There on the counter stood a tall, icy glass of Kool-aid, rivulets of water slithering down its frosty sides faster than sweat slithered my face. Without a second thought as to whose drink it might be, I promptly upended half the glass before I realized it was the bloody water from the roast my mom was cooking for dinner. Stomach roiling, I gagged and spewed into the sink, quite sure I would never drink anything that nasty again.
Boy, was I all wet! Throughout my life, I guzzled aplenty—drinking stagnant water from broken cisterns that could never quite quench my thirst. Instead of drawing “springs of water” from the true Well of life, I opted to draw from deep, dark holes filled with dirty water that left me parched and thirsty and sick to my stomach.
Holes of Approval.
Holes of Talent.
Holes of Success.
Talk about roast water!!
You know, I always assumed “my mama didn’t raise no stupid chillin’,” but at the ripe old age of sixty-two, I’m definitely rethinking that. You see, it’s taken me that long to understand something that could have saved me from years of sucking dirty pond water. Like the lone Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well, I failed to fully grasp that Jesus is the only Well, the only true Source of “living water,” and the only replenishment that can quench and satisfy our souls.
Five years ago, my first book hit the bookstore shelves and from that point on, I’ve struggled with the age-old problem with which all authors grapple, and that’s the annoying focus on sales, contest wins, good reviews and contracts. You know what I mean—drawing satisfaction and confidence from the holes of success and approval rather than from God?
Oh, as Christians we all talk a good game and most of us even trust God and love Him with a passion most pure (sorry, couldn’t resist!), but when it comes to the source we tap for our hopes, dreams and happiness? I suspect most of us—or at least myself, for sure—dip into stagnant holes of our own choosing to make us feel better rather than drawing our sustenance from the Well of Living Water. These stagnant holes can be anything we run to instead of God—be it food, drink, money, approval, success—you name it—and we may not even be aware of just how much of an idol these things have become. I certainly wasn’t fully aware that I was trying to draw my happiness from success as an author, and yet the more I drank from this stagnant hole, the sicker and weaker I became. Sewer water that almost ruined the joy of the beautiful gift God has given me—the privilege of writing for Him!
Well, sweet rivers of grace—the good news is that after almost five years of being published, I have finally turned a corner on this nasty problem through a combination of prayer, fasting and a pretty amazing book entitled The Well by Mark Hall, pastor and lead singer for Casting Crowns. You see, my church has been urging each of its 6,000 members to read this book, and once you do, it’s pretty obvious why. Like Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, He is the only source of “living water,” and to try and draw our confidence, peace, hope and joy from stagnant holes of our own devise will never truly satisfy and only make us sick.
The pastor of our church did an incredible job speaking on this very subject not two weeks ago, and I have to say that it is easily one of the top two best sermons I have ever heard in my life. And to show you just much it impacted both me and my husband, Keith told me that this message is one of only two times he has ever teared up in a sermon, so I encourage you to check it out on the link below if you have a chance. You won’t be sorry.
I have been blessed with the privilege of being on the cover of The Book Club Network’s Book Fun Magazine for December, so to say thank you to Nora St. Laurent and her husband Fred, I am holding a contest to drive subscriptions to this wonderful and TOTALLY FREE e-magazine. Inside you will not only find an extensive interview with me, but 88 pages of awesome articles including regular columns such as Passionate Spouse, Family Book Club, and articles by Kim Woodhouse, Jeff Petherick and Sandie D. Bricker, as well as two hilarious articles by Renae Brumbaugh.
SO, WHAT DO YOU WIN??? A $150 VALUE AS FOLLOWS:
— A KINDLE (or equivalent gift card for $69)
— COPY OF THE WELL BY MARK HALL (the fabulous book mentioned above)
— YOUR CHOICE OF ANY OF MY BOOKS
— CHOICE OF FIVE OF THE FOLLOWING CBA BOOKS:
—Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury
—Redemption by Karen Kingsbury
—And the Shofar Blew by Francine Rivers
—The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers
—Faith by Lori Copeland
—Glamorous Illusions by Lisa Bergren
—Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough
—Out of Control by Mary Connealy
—A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin
—House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson
—Breathe by Lisa Bergren
—Twice Promised by Maggie Brendan
—Faith by Lori Copeland
—Snow Angel by Jamie Carie
—The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers
—A Lady of Secret Devotion by Tracie Peterson
—The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian
SO, HOW DO YOU WIN? Simply get as many people as you can to sign up for a FREE subscription to Book Fun Magazine, 1 entry per subscription. If you personally subscribe or have already subscribed, that is an automatic entry. Please let me know the number of subscriptions you’ve gotten by contacting me through my website or Facebook. The winner from this random drawing will be announced in my December 28 Journal Jot.
IT’S EASY, IT’S FREE AND IT’S A GREAT MAGAZINE that will automatically come via e-mail each month, so here’s the link and GOOD LUCK IN THE CONTEST!!
HEY … DID YOU LIKE STEVEN O’CONNOR IN A LOVE SURRENDERED? Here’s your chance to vote for him (or another favorite hero) in the following “Hero of the Year” contest. Vote and leave a comment and be entered to win the book of their choice (including A Love Surrendered!) from any of the heroes’ books featured this year. Here’s the link and GOOD LUCK!!
BLOG INTERVIEW GIVEAWAYS:
NOVEMBER 27 – DECEMBER 7, 2012:
Win your choice of any of my books including A Love Surrendered and my Christmas e-book A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story at a giveaway on LENA NELSON DOOLEY’S blog at:
NOVEMBER 29, 2012:
Win your choice of any of my books including A Love Surrendered and my Christmas e-book A Light in the Window: An Irish Christmas Love Story at a giveaway on THE SWORD AND THE SPIRIT blog at:
HUGS AND HAPPY WEEKEND!!