Song of the Stream Book Launch

 

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We have a book launch! Well, almost.

I tried to get everything ready so the book would be up for sale on Amazon by today, but it may be another day or two before it appears there.

I’ll do a separate post when the book is available. Thank you for all the encouragement and kind words already. I pray that the book will be a blessing to you soon!

Phyllis Keels

A New Devotion Book

I’ve been working on a new devotion book called The Song of the Stream that will feature Kim Lance’s beautiful photography. I’ve finished the final draft and hope to have it available for sale on Amazon by the end of this month or the first of next month.

It’s a compilation of thirty of my blog posts over the last few years – the ones you shared the most, the ones you said encouraged you, comforted you, or gave you hope.

It is designed to help you hear that lovely song of the stream over your grief.

I’ll write a post when the book is available. Until then, here is an excerpt that I hope will bless you:

Brighten the Corner

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Photo by Kim Lance (Used by permission. Click image for more of Kim’s work)

The first time I heard the chorus of the old hymn “Brighten the Corner Where You Are,” I thought the line was, “Right In the Corner Where You Are.”

I was just a kid, and I remember thinking, what? Right in the corner where you are, what? What happens?

That stuck with me over the years and I still chuckle when I think of it.

The photo here reminded me of the song. The little flower, with its “arms” held wide is brightening the corner where it is. It looks like it is dancing in the sunshine. It made me smile and the day I saw it I really needed a smile.

Shortly before seeing this photo, I heard about a young person who was in an accident over the weekend. As I prayed for the family, imaging what they were going through, suddenly my mind was back in ICU watching my 28-year-old daughter take her last breath.

When tragedy strikes someone we know, we try not to make it about us. We try to be there for others, to pray, to comfort, to minister. Even so, we can’t help but feel what we felt when we went through that dark valley.

Memories of the tragedy will sneak up on you. I was in a grocery store recently and saw a mother fussing at her teenage daughter. The mom was frustrated and said some hurtful things. I could see the daughter’s soul shrivel up. It broke my heart.

I wanted to tell the mom, “Please don’t – be gentle and help her. Enjoy every moment you have with her.” But I didn’t. Instead I prayed that the Lord would give them both what they needed in order to love one another.

If I’ve learned anything from the shattering pain that still pierces my heart each day it’s this: use everything in you to do good. Use your gifts, talents, weakness, strength, faith, and even your grief.

Take your stand and plant your feet, let your roots of faith grow a little deeper as you tell the Lord you need Him today. Trust His kind heart and know that all the riches in glory in Christ Jesus are at your disposal because of what Jesus has done for us.

Your corner may be dark today. It may be devastating to look at, but spread your arms and welcome the sunshine of your Heavenly Father’s love. There will be someone who sees and they will say that you’ve brightened the corner for them, dear friend.

The Word you can hold onto today:

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1, NKJV)

Phyllis Keels

Into Your Lap

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I’ve been making jewelry lately, something fun to go along with my books when I have a book signing. Necklaces, bracelets, and a few key chains.

Each piece is meant to be a visual reminder of some Scripture, so each piece will have a card with that passage on it. You know, a necklace with a heart would have Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23, NASB)

I’ve made necklaces off and on for years, just eclectic stuff made from parts of old pieces I didn’t wear anymore. As a result, some of my friends and family have given me their old jewelry so I could make more.

When I started fashioning these pieces for the book signing, more of my friends and family gave me from their surplus jewelry. I probably have enough to make dozens of necklaces and bracelets.

I think what I’m seeing here is a picture of what Jesus said. “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38 (NASB)

You see, almost all of the pieces I made over the years, I gave away. Now the Lord is showing again that we can’t out-give Him. He multiplies and returns to us exponentially more than we gave.

He does that with everything: our money, our time, our writing. You see, the Lord’s way is pleasant, it is right, and it is good. When we simply operate in the ways He set up (give, and you will receive more than you gave), He shows Himself faithful. Whether we give or not, He is faithful. It’s just that when we follow His ways, we get to see Him work.

My friend, write because you are grateful He gave you the ability and then give generously. Paint because you are grateful. Cook, serve, sing, play music, whatever, because you are grateful He has blessed you.

Then give it to whoever He puts in your path, knowing that the Lord of all creation will take care of the outcome. Knowing that He will do it in such a beautiful way, it will astound and delight you.

Why? Because He really is faithful, and because He cares about you.

Phyllis Keels