I have received many Christmas letters telling me all about my many friends lives -- what they did last year and How they have been blessed by God's Grace. I will try to update my 2014 for you as best I can:
2014 was a very busy time for the book, They Call Me They Blessed. I have been really surprised at how much preparation is required to plan for and be a part of a book signing. I found that it wasn't just a matter of having books available, it was preparing for the questions you might be asked from those who are viewing the covers; it is the set up of the table so people are drawn to your product; it is the brief presentation you are required to make, during the event, regarding your product. This may not seem like much but when you're new, everything takes more time than you realize. In 2014, I had to do this six times -- almost back to back. Then, there were three radio interviews -- one hour each. Have you ever had to answer questions or talk about yourself for an hour? That can be a daunting experience for a person new to this craft of being published.
My daughter, Carolyn, is my PR person and she has written to many different venues to have They Call Me Blessed advertised or to have me interviewed. One really interesting event took place in Flint, Michigan and I wasn't even there. My Evangelist niece took her personal copy of my book along to a seminar where she was scheduled to speak. Using a small book tripod, she set the book on a card table covered by a lace table cloth in an alcove away from the regular book tables. During her presentation, she told her audience just "a little" about the background of They Call Me Blessed. At the first break in the seminar after her speech, my niece went back to her table to collect her belongings. Suddenly a woman ran up to her snatched her only copy of the book and began to say, "I want that book!" My niece told her the book was her personal copy. it was not for sale. The lady grabbed the book off the table and insisted that she must have this book. My niece argued with her for more than a few minutes because this was her only copy. The lady read the description on the back of the book and started to open her purse. My niece told her, again, that the book was not for sale and took the book back. The lady said, "I know you have some more of these books under the tablecloth. All book vendors do." She and the lady struggled for a few minutes creating such a stir that others came over to see what was happening. Finally, my niece's husband told her to just give the lady the book. The lady wrote a check for two books saying to my niece, "this book is mine. I am buying one for my friend. I trust you to order another one and send it to me." My niece called me and ordered more than a few of the books along with over a hundred bookmarks to help advertise the book in Michigan. She sold all she ordered. Incidentally, we have had good sales results. I have only a few of this book left on my shelf and I am in the process of writing a book of short stories. However, They Call Me Blessed can still be purchased from Amazon and Kindle or from greydenpress.com.
If you read the book They Call Me Blessed, you know that God has really been good to our home and household. In it I told you that He said, we would always have everything we need right down to bobby pins and paper clips. (By the way, we still find bobby pins around our home and we don't even use them any longer.) But in addition to that, God has kept us blessed, wise and in good health. This past year, I could have had three incidents that might have hospitalized me. However, the use of God's Word and prayer from intercessors has kept me, personally, fit. One I shared with you in September. The other two came after that and both times He was (as the Brooklyn Tabernacle song says) Faithful, Faithful to Me.
Let me tell you about a few other things that were especially exciting: First, let ;me tell you about November 4th. This was voting day in the USA. My daughter and I are the leaders of the PRAYER FOR THE NATION in our church. On the first and third Sundays, you will find our little remnant of prayer intercessors and warriors gathered in the chapel of our church doing spiritual battle. The Sunday of November 2nd, our group was particularly small. I think we only had a total of six people. As I had prayed over the wishes of our Lord for that Sunday, I was as usual, led to 2 Timothy 2: 1-8. As a leader of our Prayer For The Nation, this has been an on-going battle of thoughts and prayers over this particular scripture. Nevertheless, it is a struggle with which I keep assuring myself that this is God's country so I must needs obey Him when it comes to prayer regarding it. Among the six persons there that day were two of my strongest prayer intercessors. We started with a praise song -- I don't remember which. I had some comments and went to prayer on behalf of our country's elected, appointed and hired leaders; my prayer intercessors prayed and one warrior gave some thoughts. As we were about to end the prayer session, I had a song in mind that I wanted to sing. As I went to open the hymn book, I was looking at the sacred "window" image of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane on His knees petitioning the Father to let this cup pass from Him. At that moment, I began to pray, "Father if we can vote Senator Harry Reid, and others like him who are against our country, out of strategic positions; would you be willing to consider this as our country, at least, trying to 'seek your face and turn from our wicked ways?' Would you consider this as our wanting you to 'hear from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land?'" I then opened the hymn book to search for the song I wanted to sing. It fell open of its own accord to "THE LORD'S PRAYER." We sang it, closed with our ending song Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. On election day, November 4th, I was at rest. I watched no news of any kind. I read a book and went to bed early. The next morning, our country had removed Mr. Reid from his position and deposed quite a few others from theirs. Now the prayers for revival and awakening in the United States of America begin in earnest.
December 21st, the third Sunday, I went early to the Chapel. I set up the map and flags of Israel and America. I was singing a song that had stayed with me pretty much of the week before. I believe it was "Search me, O God, and know my heart today. Try me O Savior, know my thoughts I pray. See if there be some wicked way in me; Cleanse me from every sin and set me free." As no one else had entered the chapel, I sat on the bench in front of the window where Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was very quiet and I started (in a low key) to sing, "I love you Lord and I lift my voice to worship you, O my soul rejoice. Take joy my king in what you hear. Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear." Then I raised the tone an octave and continued to sing the song again. There was a sound behind me and a voice began to echo the song. I thought my daughter had entered the room, so without turning around, I raised the song another octave and continued to sing. Behind me, I heard more than one voice and the singing had harmony. I finished the song as I heard activity behind me and turned around. It was my daughter but she was alone and she had this look of wonder on her face. She said, "I heard singing as if there was a choir in here. I came in to find you alone and I would have taken a picture; but the scene was so sacred." There was no one with her. I believe Angels joined me in the chapel.
Christmas came late for us this year. Carolyn is a part of the Praise Group at our church, I am one of the Upper Room Prayers, we have the Prayer For The Nation and those activities as well as others in our neighborhood just kept us busy. The gifts we ordered were late in arriving, our Christmas cards went out a week late. If my adopted son, Ed, had not come over to decorate our outside trees, I was planning to just forget it for 2014. In addition, it seemed everywhere we went, people were either down with the flu, coming down with the flu or getting over the flue. Generally, we felt we had overdone our racing around and just needed rest. So when people invited us to go places, we just opted out.
We spent eight enjoyable days at home. Carolyn had to go to work for a few hours for a couple of days but other than that, we just kicked back. We read, watched old movies from years past, cried through movies like Courageous and The Last Ounce of Courage. We shared from our daily Bible reading and Prayer times; we prayed (a lot) together over different issues presented to us and Praised God a lot for all He had done for us. New Years Eve we went to Watch Night with Kenneth Copeland Ministries via ROKU and my I Pad. New Years Day, we read our Books of Remembrance for 2014 to each other, watched "a little" of the football game, went to bed before OSU made its comeback -- heard about it later.
We are now back to work. Carolyn is tutoring, subbing, and continuing as Director of Lighthouse. I am researching, reading and writing. As of today, January 12th, our Christmas tree is still up, our big Creche is still under the tree and the small creche is still on our baby grand piano. So we are still behind. However, our gratefulness and our praise to God is high and He is still looking out for us. What can we say to these things, "If God be for us, who can be against us."