Saturday, August 27, 2011


7:54 p.m. Today's project was to sign copies of my book, Galatians: An Exploration of Faith & Freedom, at Berean Christian Stores in Riverside. Tate Publishing's marketing rep put this event together and I've been waiting excitedly for this day all summer.

Predictably on the night before an important day, sleep came in segments, but at least in between disruptions from Steve's loose C-pap hose, I slept pretty soundly, dreaming about Wyoming and wide open spaces in God's creation. So I woke up in decent condition, and began with God's word, while Steve took the dogs for an early heat-beating walk.

Steve and I left the house about 11:15 for the 1:00 p.m. event, because we had to get a bit of gas--up 14 cents/gal since yesterday, no lie--and had to put some cash in our youngest son's account. Hallelujah that he starts a full-time job Monday, but he needs gas to get there!

I also wanted to drop off a Travel Roll-up Bag for a generous Mary Kay customer who lives in the west end of Riverside. For lunch, we picked up a huge deli sandwich to share and a white chocolate ice blended coffee drink from the Coffee Bean inside Ralphs on La Sierra Avenue.

Just walking to and from the car was torture in the horrible heat. Whew! We parked in a shady area and ate our food in the 20 minutes before setting up inside the store. I confess here and now that I left the car and A/C running!I heard it hit 108 today!

Store manager Nancy greeted us, and put a nice sage green tone-on-tone patterned cloth over my table at the entrance. Shortly after 1 o'clock, our daughter Heidi and husband Pavel arrived, and friends soon followed. I had to laugh with one of my buddies who already has a copy of my book, and who I think came for the air conditioning and the fun! Other friends came with their families and as always with believers, our fellowship was sweet. I love the way God's people support one another whenever possible, and keep each other's spirits lifted. One friend, Jennifer, has a niece who is singing next Friday at a coffee shop in Riverside's Woodcrest area, and Steve and I plan on attending.

It is a humbling, yet precious, experience to sign books for people whose walks and ministries I know well. That believers of such high caliber are trusting that Galatians will be edifying to them is an amazing thought, But God also had some unexpected blessings in store...

Two retired educators, Carol from Jurupa USD and Nita from Riverside USD, came into the store completely unaware of my book signing, but we had good visits to catch up. Nita will suggest my book for her church's women's study; Carol, my neighbor, wants me to come over with the book, so we can go through it together. She and her husband Glenn host small Bible study groups in their home regularly.

Then a couple came up to my table, introduced themselves, and the man told me that the Lord has laid the Letter to the Galatians on his heart to study with the married couples' group they lead, and there I was!! We discussed how to open and start the 12-week session, so I pointed out the background material I included in the introduction. He needs at least 7 copies, and he or his wife will pick them up from me personally later on.

The pastor of Family Fellowship Church International that meets at a local hotel, came up to the table with his wife, and we had a lengthy conversation. He is just 30 units short of his Doctorate of Divinity from Azusa Pacific University. I learned from their website that they formed their church about a year ago with a vision for families. How exciting! Dr. Walker had been looking for a study that was doctrinally sound, and bought a copy after flipping through it and speaking with me. May the Lord use Galatians to influence believers I won't probably meet this side of heaven!

I didn't sell that many books, but having my books on the shelf at Berean, the fellowship, and the nice day out for Steve and me, made it an awesome, worthwhile day. I realize the potential magnitude of the connections I made today, because the Lord reminded me of Ecclesiastes 11:1:

Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days.

Thank you, Lord, for Your gifts and opportunities!

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