I want you to know how much I appreciate your loyalty and support. The letters you have sent are such an encouragement and the prayers you offer on my behalf are such a blessing. Many of you have asked questions about my writing or family or beliefs and spiritual walk. I wanted to take the opportunity to give you some background and maybe answer some of those curiosities at the same time. With that in mind, I hope you'll enjoy this window into my soul.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men."
This verse has been at the very base of my writing career. It has driven me, guided me and reminded me of where my focus needs to be on a minute by minute basis.
I was a fortunate child, in that I was born into a Christian family. We weren't without our problems, but we faithfully attended church and were encouraged to read our Bible daily. Prayer was stressed as the most important thing we could do as a human being -- it was our communication to God, just as His Word was a form of communication to us.
I accepted Christ at the age of 6 and throughout my spiritual walk -- He has continued to mold and make me. Sometimes its been quite pleasant, rather like a peaceful walk through a mountain forest. Other times, it's been a trial by fire and it's hurt a great deal. Sometimes the storms have bent me over -- sometimes they've snapped me in half but always God has been faithful.
I've been married for over twenty-one years to Jim. We have three wonderful children, Jennifer, Julie and Erik. They have been a blessing to our lives in ways too numerous to tell. They've also been our biggest trials and frustrations, but they are gifts from the Lord and I thank Him for each one of them. I know I wouldn't be the person I am now, if not for my family. They've been very supportive of my writing ministry and engulfed me with their love at every turn.
And, along the line of blessings God has recently guided us to move from Kansas to Montana. The change has been a blessing in many ways and I look forward to seeing what the future holds in store. The countryside here is incredibly beautiful. The mountains are a special bonus for me, as I've wanted to live in the Rockies since I was 15 and caught my first glimpse of snow-capped peaks on a vacation.
As my spiritual walk has drawn me into a greater concern for those around me, I felt strongly that God laid on my heart the ministry of writing. Through stories, both fictional and non-fictional, I can tell how God is able to meet our needs. I'm able to show the Gospel message and the plan of salvation in a form that is less threatening and to offer ideas of Biblical application for our lives.
Above all things, I long for the reader to fall in love with God. That is at the heart of my mission. God is the lover of our souls. He longs to be the first one we think of in the morning and the last one we think of at night. He wants us to look for Him through the day -- to seek His approval and advice, just as we might an earthly love.
But we can't love God or anyone else, if we don't know them. Love at first sight happens, not only in the realm of our human daily existence, but in the spiritual as well. However, I was amazed at the times I saw people fall in love at first sight with God, only to have that love fade from their hearts as the vision of God wore away. They relied on that warm fuzzy feeling -- that peace like a river -- that mountaintop experience. And while all those things are possible and wonderful, they aren't what sustains. A relationship -- a one-on-one daily interaction -- is how you get better acquainted with another human being -- why not also find that true with God?
And because of that, I felt a strong desire to share the Bible truths that hopefully could draw people closer to God as they walked with Him. But I do offer a warning. Falling in love with God will forever change your life and focus. You'll never be the same and some people might even call you mad. But you'll know the difference and so will God. The foolishness of God is spoken of in the Bible. To the world, the fact that we trust a seemingly invisible entity, or trust to be true, a collections of stories and letters that many discredit as nothing more than fables, is foolish. But to the person who has given their life to Jesus, the foolishness of God is honey to our tongue.
Ephesians 1:18 has become a cornerstone verse for a new non-fiction book I've been working on -- its also become a cornerstone in my life. The verse reads, "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints."
So often we lose sight of the "hope" to which God has called us -- as well as the riches of His glorious inheritance. My desire is to write books that will help people regain their sight and hope. I pray that you will be blessed as you read my books, but even more, I pray that God will make Himself very real to you. And I pray that you will fall in love with God so completely and thoroughly, that to give yourself over to anything or anyone else will simply be impossible.