Dear Readers, we have a devotional today.
Welcome, Rachel. What would you like for our readers to know about you personally?
I’m quirky and random, and that translates into every area of my life: conversation, writing, even spirituality. I am most grateful to have the influence of this trait in my walk with God because that allows me the freedom to experience relationship with Him in fresh and exciting ways.
Our relationship with the Lord can be fresh and exciting every day. I’m glad yours is. Tell us about your family.
I am happily married to the love of my life. This year we celebrated our silver anniversary with a trip to
New York. I felt so fancy.
We have two children, ages 22 and 18. Both are in college and heading toward independence. The family Puggle, Jamby, is our third “child”!
Have you written other nonfiction books?
I have a resource work that helps people know what to write in greeting cards. I wrote this during a time I was creating Halo Greetings ™. I kept hearing, “I love to send cards, but I never know what to write in them.” So, I decided to solve that problem with a tool that offered suggested comments and scriptures for many types of send-a-card situations.
One of my children’s books, a rhyming read-aloud, could also be classified as non-fiction. It teaches children how to talk to God, and its coloring book companion shows them how to listen to Him.
While my other books are works of fiction, they do have components, such as Bible studies, historical segments, and activities included in them.
Do you have any other books in the works right now?
Yes. Several. Another devotional book is nearing completion, and a novel that I’ve piddled with for the longest time hangs like a tassel of loose ends in my thoughts. I’m in a re-write phase with it. In addition, I’ve written scenes and story boards for a couple of other projects, and when inspiration strikes, I write a page or two. However, the work that I haven’t yet begun but plan to tackle this year is a history of my church. I’m looking forward to honoring its founding fathers, but more importantly, I am eager to showcase God’s faithfulness to His promise by telling how He raised a church from five prayerful believers to a thriving international work.
What kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I love traveling with family, eating and shopping with friends, and reading. I’m also a fan of crafting and have recently begun adding art to my personal worship.
Why did you write the featured book?
I wanted to share how we can see glimpses of God in the ordinary things in our lives.
What do you want the reader to take away from the book?
I want readers to have a new appreciation of God’s overwhelming love and to see their God-approach with fresh eyes. When awareness of God is sharpened, it’s much easier to make Him the center of everything.
Is there anything you’d like to tell my readers about you or your book?
The book uses pet anecdotes to parallel our relationship with our Heavenly Father. One of the pets in the book is Jamby; she is still a princess in our home. Her father, Pugzy, who is also talked about in the book, was a previous pet. He inspired the writing of the book, but passed away before its completion. Book purchases may be made through Barnes and Nobel, Books-A-Million, and Amazon.
Please give us the first page or two from the book.
We need to stay close to the Master.
“Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8
Pugzy followed me everywhere I went. He trudged along with me, taking every step that I did. When I sat down, he was also there, getting in some snuggle time. If I was eating, well, he’d be handy for some scraps. Wherever I was, Pugzy was my shadow. Because of his choice to be close to me, I was automatically put in close proximity to him. He chose to follow me.
God loves us to be near Him, but He has given us the ability to decide if we want to be close to Him. We can keep Him at arm’s length, or we can welcome His presence. When we choose to follow Jesus intimately, we automatically put Him near us. When He is near, we have everything we need. We have comfort and peace, strength and joy. We get our snuggle-time and unexpected treats. We are able to share in whatever He is doing because our proximity to Him involves us in it.
We move toward God’s welcoming presence in many ways, and they each start with one step—one prayer, one Bible verse, one act of worship, one sacred thought. For certain, keeping the Master close is the best thing we can do for ourselves.
If we look expectantly, we will receive.
“Ask and it shall be given you, seek, and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7
Pugzy knew where we kept the treats. He was a very treat-conscious dog. At the mere sound of paper crackling—sometimes rooms away from where he was—he came running. He understood that treats were for him. He knew that we gave them to him liberally; therefore, he expected them. As a result, he was quick to “ask” for them. He would run to the cabinet where they were kept every time we would say, “Good boy.” On those rare occasions in which he was allowed access to the kitchen, he would sit patiently during food preparation, awaiting a handout when the cooking was done. While we ate, he was at attention on the mat near the dining table because he was anticipating a scrap when we were finished with our meal. He never ceased to have the expectant look.
The fact that God has faithfully blessed us should elevate our level of expectancy in Him. He’s been more than generous in His giving, and His promises declare His enthusiasm for blessing us, yet we draw back. We worry and fret and anxiously wring our hands. We glance away from His offering, too lazy to reach out and receive from Him and too willing to trust in faltering, failing humanity. We deem ourselves unworthy and shuffle along, feeling neglected. In essence, we act like we don’t expect God to follow through with His promises. It’s about time we tip our heads to the side, open our eyes wide, and run to the place where the treats are kept. The Master’s waiting to bless.
Good analogies. Where on the Internet can the readers find you?www.rachelwindham.com - where I write a weekly Tips and Tidbits blog as well as post other handy-dandy information and updates. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Thank you, Rachel for sharing this devotional with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Pure Devotion - paperback
Pure Devotion - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: