Monday, March 13, 2017

What If You Never Publish? He'll Never Leave You!

by Peter Leavell +Peter Leavell @peterleavell  

At age 36, I lay in my bed, dying. Blood tests showed I no longer made testosterone because of an autoimmune disorder. 

Treatments helped me recover over the course of a year. I still take treatments.

I lived.

Christ was with me.

At age 36, my brother Chris was weak from cancer, and at 37, he lay in bed, dying. 

Tests showed there was no hope.

Treatments didn’t help.

He died.

Christ was with him.

What do we know of such things? Hebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (NIV)

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—He studied a few weeks and plinked out a thriller, then finally cracked into the publishing world with a great contract. He hit the best seller list.

—He studied all his life, and finally decided to self-publish and sold 8 copies. One person grew closer to God because of the work, but the author never knew.

What do we know of such things? Hebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (NIV)

*******

—The bookstore sales team was cutthroat, underselling everyone, pinching pennies from publishers and authors. Good commerce practice. Their business grew fast until they were a household name.

—The bookstore sales team tried to honor God. They made mistakes, but tried to be sincere. They couldn’t meet their creditors’ demands, and had to close their doors.

What do we know of such things? Hebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (NIV)

*******

Where do we, as Christian writers, put our hope? How do we make sense of a world that looks like a chaotic jumble of unfair events so horrible we're filled with pain—physical and emotional?

The questions that must be answered? No, they aren’t the simple ones that only make us toss and turn at night—mere distractions. These are life and death. These are good and evil. Heart ripping, soul crushing, suffering and agony. Losing a son. Staying up with a daughter who overdosed. Loving when the heart has passed exhaustion long ago.

What are the answers?

Is our journey to live happy lives? Our vision and dream is to publish? Instead, grow closer to Christ. Want to be beautiful? Who cares? Grow closer to Christ. Want to have a happy family? Is that your life goal? Eh. Grow closer to Christ. A house? A great job? Nice car? Pshhh. Grow closer to Christ.

Why?

John 15:5— I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (ESV) 

Christ is beauty and art and hope and dreams fulfilled. Peace with rest. Humility with respect. Love without end. Warmth.

Our only job is to cling to that Vine as tightly as we can with every heartbeat (love the Lord your God with all your heart Matthew 22:37) and the rest is simply details.

Easy for you to say, Peter. You're an internationally published, award winning author. I'm not sure which is harder, before being published, or after. But who cares? 

What do we know of such thingsHebrews 13:5 Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. (NIV)

(To learn more about growing closer to Christ, read the Bible’s Gospel of John)

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Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. Learn more about Peter's books, research, and family adventures at www.peterleavell.com.
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13 comments:

  1. I'm sorry about your brother, Peter. You are so right. He never leaves us no matter what His plan for our lives.

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    1. His arms are always around us! Thanks, Sandra!

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  2. Powerful message, Peter! Thank you! So important to keep things in perspective and focus on what's really important.

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  3. Thank you, for the insight and admonition! "This one thing I do, says Paul. "Forgetting was lies behind I press onward toward the upward call of Jesus." We have to press on., no matter what kind of day we've had.

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    1. That's an important verse to keep our focus. Thanks, Jerri!

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  4. Thank you for this encouraging post, Peter. Great reminders to keep focusing on Jesus being ever near us. There's a lot of comfort in that.

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  5. Peter - absolute truth. And touching a life Christ is really what it's all about.

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